Shrinking Violets

Shrinking Violets

The Secret Life of Shyness

Book - 2017
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A deeply perceptive and beautifully written cultural history of shyness, from one of our most astute observers of the everyday.
Publisher: New Haven :, Yale University Press,, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780300222821
Branch Call Number: 155. 232 MOR
Characteristics: 272 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Secret life of shyness


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Dec 06, 2017

A non-fiction book especially one with an anthropological/sociology bent is a bit of a difficult read that has it ebbs and flows of interesting and less interesting anecdotes which seems repetitious at times. The British author's overarching thesis appears to be that shyness is not a malady that needs curing (the classical American approach) but rather a condition that in some ways could be considered a gift (more so by the Finns and the British). This flies in the face of his own anecdotes like the efficient WWII general forgotten by history whereas Monty was not; and the man who was too shy to publish his findings and was beaten to the punch by that other shy man, Charles Darwin. Several of the examples provided are of people for whom the malady is crippling. The only thing one can agree on is that shyness is a universal condition and it is only a matter of degree from one person to the next.


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