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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sandy: I feel real strongly about this one.  Yes, I’m a lawyer, wife of a lawyer and mother of a law student - but my science-y kids have read and loved this too.  OK, I read parts of it aloud to Tom during lacrosse trips to tournaments. It’s not all lawyer-ish, it’s written by a huge RBG fan and lawyer but she asked aboard her writer friend who knew nothing about this Ginsburg person.  It does look at how she changed the law, but in well-highlighted (literally, in the font) accessible language.  The actual way that this tiny person strategically and patiently and brilliantly changed the world we live in is so important now - but as important I think is the story of how she became who she was, and maybe especially the marriage that allowed her to excel on all fronts.  Read it, give it - truly.


Who would have thought a bespectacled, elderly jurist would become a pop-culture icon, feted in song and story so widely that she might be likened to a hip-hop star?


Though the hip-hop star in question, the late Notorious B.I.G., is an inapposite choice, MSNBC correspondent Carmon and attorney Knizhnik, building on the latter’s popular law-studies blog, serve up something between a biography and a scrapbook. If you want to understand how, through tireless work and endless determination, the scholarly RBG should have overcome discrimination to rise to the top of the judicial pyramid, then this book serves, but so too if you want “only to learn to get buff like an octogenarian who can do twenty push-ups.” Ginsburg starts on the elliptical, then moves on with her trainer to do planks, “where he does his best to knock the tiny justice down.” By this point, readers will understand that nothing can knock Justice Ginsburg down, not cancer or the death of a beloved spouse or having to see Samuel Alito every workday. “RBG had a job to do,” Carmon and Knizhnik cheer, “and she wasn’t done yet.” The book goes beyond admiring, and though it is generally courtly toward the rest of the court, Ginsburg is its unlikely dazzling star. By the end of this celebration, in which the authors make some pertinent, serious legal points, even readers disinclined to think of the justice as a pop icon will find new respect for her—unless, that is, they’re ideologically bound not to, for RBG emerges as an unshakable champion of women’s rights and, horrors, as a classic liberal. Besides, RBG writes a mean dissent—e.g., “This is not the first time this court has ordered a cramped interpretation of Title VII.”

New York Times Bestseller

Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary RBG

"It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would one day become the 'Notorious RBG." -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019

She was a fierce dissenter with a serious collar game. A legendary, self-described "flaming feminist litigator" who made the world more equal. And an intergenerational icon affectionately known as the Notorious RBG. As the nation mourns the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, discover the story of a remarkable woman and learn how to carry on her legacy.

This runaway bestseller, brought to you by the attorney founder of the Notorious RBG Tumblr 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 as 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 transcended divides and changed the world forever.

Publication Date: 
October 27, 2015
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