Sunday, December 11, 2016

My Own Words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy Williams

 with Mary Hartnett and Wendy Williams
Simon & Schuster - 2016

Born March 15, 1933, Joan Ruth Bader was the second daughter of Nathan and Celia Bader. Her older sister Marilyn died at the age of six of meningitis when "Ruth" was just 14 months old.  From an early age Ruth loved to write and, at thirteen she was the editor of her school newspaper (some of those articles are included in this bio).  She was awarded a full scholarship to Cornell where she met the love of her life Marty Ginsburg.  

A few interesting facts:
  • The writer who influenced her most was Vladimir Nabokov.
  • She was very close to the late Justice Anthony Scalia despite the fact their views were very different.
I love RBG and all that she has done for race and equality. I couldn't wait to read this memoir but, I was expecting more of a biographical style and that was not the case.

This book is more about her writings, briefs and Supreme Court decisions which are covered in much detail.  I learned a lot about the workings of the court selection and case processes.  In many respects this book was a collection of all of RBG's writings from the age of 13 until the present.  I do wish I listened to the audio version as there were actual transcripts of various cases.

Overall, I found this book to be very informative even though at times the material felt a tad heavy.  I guess I was expecting a more personal flair and not as much history but I do recommend this book.

4/5 stars
(library)

14 comments:

  1. I know very little about her so need to read something like this.

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  2. She does have a pretty heavy job!

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  3. After reading a couple biographies of RBG, I'm curious about this one. I thought it sounded a little drier, but will give the audio version try. Thanks for the advice.

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  4. This sounds so interesting. I would like to learn more about how the workings of the court selection, especially these days. But I would ask JoAnn which biography of RBG she thinks is best.

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    1. Judy - I agree with Diane... Notorious RBG was excellent! Sisters in Law is a dual biography of RBG and Sandra Day O'Connor which I found fascinating... it showed how two women with very different backgrounds, philosophies, etc. made their way to the supreme court, and their different approaches to the law once there. It's scope is much broader than Notorious RBG.

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  5. I'm eager to read this one myself. It makes me smile that RBG and Scalia were close--I think we are forgetting that people can disagree and still be friends.

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    1. You make a good point but, often politics does break up friendships.

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  6. I am also super impressed with RBG, but this doesn't sound like the right book for me to read about her. I'll find one that is more about HER

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    1. The Notorious RBG was my favorite; I think you might enjoy it Helen.

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  7. Hm. I love RBG and find the inner workings of the SC fascinating so maybe this would work for me.

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