Books to read right now about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Remembering the legal lion and champion of women
A historical, legal, cultural figure and feminist icon has left us. Friday, September 18, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
Ginsberg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August, 10, 1993, becoming the second female justice of four to be confirmed to the court. Ruth spent a considerable part of her legal career devoted to advocating for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights.
With her many accomplishments in her life, her legacy and life’s work includes many book by and about her work and her life. Below we’ve curated and chosen our top six recommendations to learn more about and appreciate the life of the late Justice. We have provided additional information about our book picks from the publisher, as well as where to purchase if interested to help independent bookstores. To see even more books on RGB click here.
Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law
This remarkable book presents a unique portrait of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, drawing on more than twenty years of conversations with Jeffrey Rosen, starting in the 1990s and continuing through the Trump era. Rosen, a veteran legal journalist, scholar, and president of the National Constitution Center, shares with us the justice’s observations on a variety of topics, and her intellect, compassion, sense of humor, and humanity shine through. The affection they have for each other as friends is apparent in their banter and in their shared love for the Constitution–and for opera.
In Conversations with RBG, Justice Ginsburg discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, her favorite dissents, the cases she would most like to see overruled, the #MeToo movement, how to be a good listener, how to lead a productive and compassionate life, and of course the future of the Supreme Court itself. These frank exchanges illuminate the steely determination, self-mastery, and wit that have inspired Americans of all ages to embrace the woman known to all as “Notorious RBG.”
Whatever the topic, Justice Ginsburg always has something interesting–and often surprising–to say. And while few of us will ever have the opportunity to chat with her face-to-face, Jeffrey Rosen brings us by her side as never before. Conversations with RBG is a deeply felt portrait of an American hero. Click to See “Conversations with RBG” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame–she has only tried to make the world a little better and a little freer.
But nearly a half-century into her career, something funny happened to the octogenarian: she won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg first made her name as a feminist pioneer are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.
Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg’s family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah. Click Here to See “Notorious RBG” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere.
This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.Click Here to See “I Dissent” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life
In this large, comprehensive, revelatory biography, Jane De Hart explores the central experiences that crucially shaped Ginsburg’s passion for justice, her advocacy for gender equality, her meticulous jurisprudence: her desire to make We the People more united and our union more perfect. At the heart of her story and abiding beliefs–her Jewish background. Tikkun olam, the Hebrew injunction to “repair the world,” with its profound meaning for a young girl who grew up during the Holocaust and World War II. We see the influence of her mother, Celia Amster Bader, whose intellect inspired her daughter’s feminism, insisting that Ruth become independent, as she witnessed her mother coping with terminal cervical cancer (Celia died the day before Ruth, at seventeen, graduated from high school).
From Ruth’s days as a baton twirler at Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, to Cornell University, Harvard and Columbia Law Schools (first in her class), to being a law professor at Rutgers University (one of the few women in the field and fighting pay discrimination), hiding her second pregnancy so as not to risk losing her job; founding the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, writing the brief for the first case that persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down a sex-discriminatory state law, then at Columbia (the law school’s first tenured female professor); becoming the director of the women’s rights project of the ACLU, persuading the Supreme Court in a series of decisions to ban laws that denied women full citizenship status with men. Click Here to See ” Ruth Bader Ginsburg – A Life” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.
The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.
Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives. Click Here to See “Sisters in Law” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
The Way Women Are: Transformative Opinions and Dissents by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime defying notions about “the way women are” and, in the process, has become a cultural icon as well as a profoundly influential jurist. This collection of some of her most significant opinions and dissents illuminates the intellect, humor, and toughness that have made “the Notorious R.B.G.” a hero to many.
Included are Justice Ginsburg’s majority opinions in United States v. Virginia (1996), and Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017); her concurrence in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016); a selection from the Court’s 2018-2019 term; and some of the justice’s most famous dissents, such as those in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007), Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014). Also included are an introduction and explanatory notes that help make these writings accessible to a nonlegal audience. Click Here to See “The Way Women Are” and help Independent Bookstores. Also Available on Amazon.
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