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Irin Carmon: I heard you can do 20 push-ups.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Yes, but we do 10 at a time. And then I breathe for a bit and do the second set.
Nearly a half century into being a feminist and legal pioneer, something funny happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The octogenarian won the Internet. Across America, people who weren't even born when Ginsburg made her name are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute. In a class of its own, and much to Ginsburg's own amusement, is the Notorious RBG Tumblr, which juxtaposes the diminutive but fierce Jewish grandmother with the 350-pound rapper featuring original artwork submitted from around the world.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers a rich, intimate, unprecedented look at the justice and how she changed the world. From Ginsburg's refusal to let the slammed doors of sexism stop her to her innovative legal work, from her before-its-time feminist marriage to her perch on the nation's highest court - with the fierce dissents to match - get to know RBG as never before. 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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would, if only for the story about a fascinating woman who championed women's rights and has experienced so many of the challenges women faced in a time where they lacked the same standing as men. However, I would give them the caveat that they have to PAY ATTENTION. The story jumps around so much that it's difficult to put together the timeline in your head. In one chapter, RBG is coping with her husband's death and in the next she is in a fight with him over some issue. It's also difficult to get a true feel for her opinions based on someone's reading of them.
If you’ve listened to books by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik before, how does this one compare?
I haven't listed to books by Irin Carmon nor Shana Knizhnik so I have no comparison.
What about Andi Arndt’s performance did you like?
Andi Arndt's performance was ok; it kept me interested. However, this may not have been the best showcase of a reader's potential talent.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
One moment I found particularly moving was the description of Sotomayor trying to get RBG to salsa dance shortly after her husband died, despite RBG's reluctance. It really shows the support the women of the SCOTUS give one another.
Any additional comments?
Definitely the kind of woman you want to read about and should read about.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
Oh how I loved this book! I have loved the Notorious RBG for a while now, but after reading this book, I love her all the more.
During my grad work, we learned not only about the justice system, what it entails, how it works, what the major challenges are to making it a just and fair system, etc, but we also learned quite a bit about the history of those who were major players in constructing the system, keeping the system going, as well as those who were the target of the system. Often, in fact very often, when individuals in a minority are allowed to finally attain a position of authority, they must reject the rest of the minority to prove their worth. A few examples:
-A woman in business must prove she is one of the boys.Helping women get a foothold in business would have damaged the careers of these women.
-Women in the military and policing must show they can be just like men, not only in strength, but often in attitude as well. If they complained about poor treatment or discrimination, it was proof they couldn't hack it like men. So it was difficult to pave the way for other women.
-Black prisoners in the time of Jim Crow were elevated to trustee status in which they held a gun on other black inmates and policed their actions, shooting them if they didn't behave.
-Black prisoners in Jim Crow had to convince white men they were not like the other black degenerates. They had to get a letter stating they were "not like the other Negros."
- Black male police officers were expected to be harder on black citizens to prove they were not trying to help their own kind.
Considering that Harvard would not even allow a woman to get a law degree -- despite the fact that Ruth had done much better academically than her fellow Harvard classmate and husband Marty, and despite the fact that she was top in her class at Columbia-- Ruth was undoubtedly the trailblazer who broke the barriers for so many women to follow. It was not an easy road and she often had to become "deaf" to the injustices women faced. It was essential to not make a fuss all the time if she wanted to be taken seriously and fit in. However, even though she had to fit in and ignore injustices in oder to keep advancing her own career, she never turned her back on those who still had yet to make it. She worked damned hard to gain and maintain her position as the supreme court justice. She could have easily thought, "Well I worked hard to get here. Screw anyone who didn't work as hard as I did." That is not who RBG is. She realized that the reason she had to work so hard was because far too many obstacles stood in the way of women's success. She was and is determined to break down every one of these obstacles.
If there is a type of person that I most love and admire, it's people who are so passionate about something, they cannot stop themselves from tirelessly pursuing it. RBG has, without question, changed the world. This book should be required reading for every girl in school and every boy too.
Short read, great writing, must read, entertaining, educational, and (I usually hate the word but ...)INSPIRING!
Love, Love, LOVE the Notorious RBG.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
The Audible version of "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" (2015) made me a kid at Christmas, surreptitiously opening presents under the tree because I couldn't wait for the Big Day. I've asked for a copy of the actual, hold in the hand, feel the smooth heavy paper, actually see the pictures I've heard about on paper, not on pixels, book. "Notorious RBG" kept showing up on my Audible recommendations (ah, Audible algorithms, you know me so well) and I gave in.
I've seen RBG in person and in action at oral arguments in the US Supreme Court. At the time - after Sandra Day O'Connor retired and before President Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter - she was the only woman on the Supreme Court. RBG was and is - physically dwarfed by every other Justice and even her own chair, but she's an intellectual and moral giant. "Notorious RBG" is a brief look at her life, from being "Kiki" of Flatbush, Brooklyn, to - as her official biography on Supreme Court dot gov says - "launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union" and then serving as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and on its National Board of Directors from 1974–1980, and then onto the judiciary and the Supreme Court.
"Notorious RBG" shows how RBG strategized to change discrimination against women by arguing before the then all male Supreme Court that it hurt men, too. She had a case that let women who hired caretakers for elderly parents take tax breaks, but not men - the presumption was that men were not caregivers and wouldn't need the write off for hiring help. Yes, if you're middle aged like I am, you've actually been alive for a tax code based partly on gender. RBG's strategy was brilliant. The tax code - now that's something conservatives can relate to.
The Audible version of "Notorious RBG" refers to an "Enhanced Audio Portion." That's a pdf file that downloads along with the Audible file. It's got some expanded case law, but sadly, none of the pictures that are in the print version. That pushed me into a Tumblr account, where I've happily been reading posts about RBG all morning.
Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik have done a great job at showing simply and entertainingly why RBG is the feminist icon she is. Yes, I'm glad I listened to the book, and it's an easy listen. An inspirational listen, actually - but I am still hoping for the print version at Christmas (hint, hint, family).
The title of the review is from RBG's dissent in Burwell v Hobby Lobby (2014) 134 S.Ct. 2751.
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70 of 81 people found this review helpful
A quick and interesting listen. I wish that the authors would have called her "RBG" less because every sentence seems to say "RBG," almost enough for me to stop listening because it grew so repetitive and annoying.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this audiobook, however not having the print version available is disconcerting. The narrator makes frequent references to "a chart" or some other table that has information being talked about. Overall the material about Justice Ginsburg is fascinating and I learned a great deal about her.
Would you recommend Notorious RBG to your friends? Why or why not?
I am considering suggesting that a group that I'm a part of read the book and discuss it.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listen as I walk for my health, and listen in segments If I had the print version, I might read it in a different manner.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This is a fabulous story of an amazing woman, jurist, and humanitarian. It is also a love story for Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her husband Marty, as well as for the constitution, feminism and getting it right for all people. Newly atop my bucket list is to at least hear if not meet Ruth Bader Ginsberg in person.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
Hard to go wrong with such a great subject. Friendly, approachable, enjoyable in tone makes a serious subject ease to listen.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
A true American icon and beautiful soul
A tribute to this justice in all aspects of her life.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
I'm disappointed all the notes mentioned in the expanded audio aren't here. Where are they? I want the geeky expanded notations. Also, pictures. There's gotta be a way to include a file with pictures...
13 of 16 people found this review helpful
I will admit I use audio books to dose of to sleep, as a sort of calming period at the end of a day. This book did the exact opposite for me.
Internally woven with modern urbanism and telling the story of one of our times most influential people, this book beautifully parallels two types of lives and their accompanying struggles.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful