My book club read this month was Notorious RBG – The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. The name Notorious RBG came from a Tumblr page the two authors started as a bit of a fan page and playing off of the name of rapper Notorious BIG. After the success of the Tumblr page, Carmon and Knizhnik sat down to write a book and spoke with Justice Ginsberg herself before doing so. The result is a fantastic book detailing her life and how she worked her way up to the Supreme Court, fighting for her own rights and the rights of all women every step of the way.
Now I’ve admitted that until this year’s election, I used to avoid pretty much any and all politics. I don’t know that much about the justice system or who’s on the Supreme Court or anything like that. But I have always known who Ruth Bader Ginsberg is and I was definitely intrigued to learn more about her. For example, I didn’t know that she was married for over 50 years until her husband died of cancer in 2010. I didn’t know that she raised two children while she worked her way up the Judicial ladder. I also learned that she had a supportive family growing up who encouraged her and wanted her to get an education, especially her mother Celia. Her mother sadly passed away the day before Ruth graduated high school and did not get to see just how far she would go. I also learned about how Ruth herself was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 but with treatment was able to beat and while she was battling she never missed a single day on the bench.
The book is really a great balance of her professional and personal life. We not only learn about how she got to where she is, but there are some lengthy discussions on some of her most notable cases. And there are plenty of personal stories about her as well, one of my favorites being how she described how she felt the day President Bill Clinton ushered her into the Rose Garden to announce that he was nominating her to the Supreme Court. Overall she is clearly a Bad Ass Feminist Who Gets Shit Done. She is a role model for us all. And I appreciate that she is a Badass Feminist who has a husband and family. She’s well rounded. And she’s still fighting for us at age 84 and I hope she can continue to do so because we need her more than ever right now.
One of our book club members told us that this book is meant to be read with a physical copy and she is right. Don’t waste this one on a Kindle. There are tons of full color pictures. The entire book is beautiful inside and should be enjoyed in book form. I was so thankful my library had a copy!
I definitely recommend this book if you want to learn more about RBG, the judicial system or feminism. I promise it is not boring, you will be entertained while you learn!