NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary RBG
“The authors make this unassuming, most studious woman come pulsing to life. . . . Notorious RBG may be a playful project, but it asks to be read seriously. . . . That I responded so personally to it is a testimony to [its] storytelling and panache.”— Jennifer Senior, New York Times
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.
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About the Author
Irin Carmon is a journalist covering gender, politics, and law. She’s a contributing writer for the Washington Post’s Outlook section and a distinguished fellow at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard. She has been a national reporter at MSNBC, Salon, and Jezebel.
Shana Knizhnik is a civil rights attorney. While a student at NYU law school, she created the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr, a feminist website dedicated to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her lifelong fight for equality and social justice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved learning so much about her personal and professional life! Some I already knew, but reading her takes on certain cases and times in her life were incredible. Honestly, I would have bought this book just to support the other wonderful women who wrote it, as they clearly idolize her like I do. RBG is a heroine, and everyone should read this book if for no other reason than to appreciate the path she paved for us: she fought for equality, which to her, means for EVERYONE. All my love to RBG and the kickass women who wrote this book in her honor.
A tight nutshell of a great person to whom so many of us owe so much.
I think it’s important to know about the people who are trying to change the world for the better. I’l confess that I became aware of RBG around the time of the 2008 campaigns and I am (always have been) woefully disconnected from politics. I was raised fiercely Republican and Ruth Bader Ginsberg was not exactly a household name for my parents. Saying the name “Bill Clinton” was akin to dropping an f-bomb in my house, so you can imagine my family wasn’t crazy about his Supreme Court nominees, either. If you’re read my blog, you can probably surmise that as I’ve become an independent agent and educated myself, my views have shifted. These days, I wish my younger self had been more aware of women like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, because she’s exactly the type of person I idolize now. This book is a series of glimpses. While I prefer most my biographies to be chronological (for my brain organization) I appreciated the anecdotes and stories about RBG’s life and career scattered throughout The Notorious RBG. The book starts near the beginning, with a young Ruth just wanting to make her mother proud. This novel does a good job of painting RBG as a person – while Kate McKinnon’s RBG on Saturday Night Live is one of my favorite impressions, it’s clear early in the book that she’s a more timid person. Fierce, but not outgoing. For some reason, I think I like her all the more for that? It shows that you don’t need to be proud to fight for your beliefs. There’s a lot of little gems scattered throughout The Notorious RBG. I liked that there was a storyline about her marriage and husband, who was always supportive and apparently an amazing cook. I liked the discussion about her Supreme Court cases, but also her relationships with the other judges… but on and off the bench. As far as a biography goes, I really enjoyed The Notorious RBG for entertainment and interest value, but unlike many other biographies and autobiographies, I never felt like I was getting a full picture. Just as I was settling in to hear about her time teaching, we were suddenly in 2006, learning about what it was like for her after Justice O’Connor stepped down. And a moment later we were back in law school. It was jumbled enough that even though the bits were interesting, it all felt like more of a taste than an actual story. If you’re interested in the story of a true feminist, or simply want to hear a little more about a true icon in American history, The Notorious RBG is a great place to start. RBG lights up these pages with her hope and persistence in the human spirit. I can’t imagine a world without her sitting on the Supreme Court, and I hope I don’t have to anytime soon (P.S. she can do 20 push ups at a time, which I definitely cannot do).