ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



January 2016



Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Five Stars


The estate of Notorious B.I.G. gave permission to use chapter titles inspired by his lyrics. That’s pretty fantastic. More fantastic? This book. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an impressive woman who I wish I knew more about when I was younger. She is tougher than I am, that’s for sure, and she’s spent her life quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) breaking down barriers. She writes opinions that recognize the humanity of our fellow citizens, and pens deliberate dissents that point out when the majority on the court get it so very, very wrong.

The book is made a bit in the style of the Jon Stewart book from years ago; it’s in hardcover, it has a lot of great pictures, and its chapters are short enough that you can digest them in pieces, or enjoy them all in one long sitting. Included are excerpts from her rulings and dissents, annotated (my favorite one was simply “burn”) with the assistance of legal scholars.

Ms. Carmon and Ms. Knizhnik were able to speak to Justice Ginsburg for this book, so it provides what I think is a real feel for who the Justice is not just as a member of the Supreme Court, but as a woman in this world. It isn’t as dense as a traditional biography, but that’s not its purpose. It has a very clear point of view, and it is one that I really appreciated reading. My husband is reading it next (he actually bought it, for the feminist book club we’re participating in this month), and I hope to either pass this copy along to others or, more likely, purchase it and gift it to my friends in the coming years.

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