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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A Life
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 24 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first full life - private, public, legal, philosophical - of the 107th Supreme Court justice, one of the most profound and profoundly transformative legal minds of our time; an audiobook 15 years in work, authored with the cooperation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself and based on many interviews with the justice, her husband, her children, her friends, and her associates.

In this large, comprehensive, revelatory biography, Jane de Hart explores the central experiences that crucially shaped Ginsburg’s passion for justice, her advocacy for gender equality, her meticulous jurisprudence: her desire to make We the People more united and our union more perfect. At the heart of her story and abiding beliefs - her Jewish background. Tikkun olam, the Hebrew injunction to “repair the world”, with its profound meaning for a young girl who grew up during the Holocaust and World War II. We see the influence of her mother, Celia Amster Bader, whose intellect inspired her daughter’s feminism, insisting that Ruth become independent, as she witnessed her mother coping with terminal cervical cancer (Celia died the day before Ruth, at 17, graduated from high school).

From Ruth’s days as a baton twirler at Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, to Cornell University, Harvard and Columbia Law Schools (first in her class), to being a law professor at Rutgers University (one of the few women in the field and fighting pay discrimination), hiding her second pregnancy so as not to risk losing her job; founding the Women's Rights Law Reporter, writing the brief for the first case that persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down a sex-discriminatory state law, then at Columbia (the law school’s first tenured female professor); becoming the director of the women’s rights project of the ACLU, persuading the Supreme Court in a series of decisions to ban laws that denied women full citizenship status with men.

Her years on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, deciding cases the way she played golf, as she, left-handed, played with right-handed clubs - aiming left, swinging right, hitting down the middle. Her years on the Supreme Court...

A pioneering life and legal career whose profound mark on American jurisprudence, on American society, on our American character and spirit will reverberate deep into the 21st century and beyond.

©2018 Jane Sherron de Hart (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"An excellent biography...in its comprehensiveness, range, and attention to detail, this is a vivid account of a remarkable life." (Jeffrey Rosen, The Washington Post

"The first full biography of Ginsburg...passionate and thorough...a major event in scholarship on American law." (Michael O'Donnell, Washington Monthly

"Magisterial and timely...engaging...written in clear language and grounded in historical context." (Julia M. Klein, Forward

What members say

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Read

The book was phenomenal from start to finish. Captivating the reader while keeping it truly factual with well timed references

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • P.
  • 01-30-19

Remarkable!

While very long and extremely detailed this is worth every moment to listen to and understand the remarkable commitment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to human rights, to feminism, and most importantly to equal rights for men and women! While I have read other biographies and her own compilation of writings, I found this a profound and moving account of the precision and deliberation Justice Ginsburg has made the hallmarks of her life. I can only hope we will see a return to the prestige and confidence of the supreme court by overturning the crash politics and patriarchal insistence of Congress and the current court. I am so grateful for her.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Just Okay...

This book was just okay. I adore RBG, but this book was a 26 hour drag. I had force myself to finish it. It is absolutely inundated with legalese and becomes very hard to follow as an audio book. Maybe if I had a paper copy, highlighters and notecards it would have been easier to follow and enjoy. I would have liked to hear more about the justice as a person and less of a narration of case law.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Every Woman Should Hear or Read This Book

I consider this to be one of the most important and significant books of this century. The author presents so much history as she summarizes Ruth Bader Ginsburg's growing up, her education with its discrimination challenges, her attitudes and the progress of the Equal Rights and Women's movements. Dr. Ginsburg makes you marvel at her incredible analyses of the law and the way she writes her briefs with such perfection.
"RBG--A Life" is engrossing and informative; it maintains your interest throughout.

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  • Steve
  • Ventura, CA, United States
  • 05-18-19

Only OK

Although I enjoyed getting to know about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the author spends too much time on legalese and too little time on Ruth herself. "First", about Sandra Day O'Conner does a better job of balancing the two.

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  • CB
  • 03-28-19

Excellent

This book is really history made alive. The author did an excellent job bringing the story of RBG to life with depth and great insight. I enjoyed learning more about Justice Ginsburg. Brilliant woman!!

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Learned a Lot

I certainly learned a lot listening to this book. It was sometimes a struggle but well worth the listen.

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My hero.

Doesn't get much better. Wonderful and well-rounded account of RBG's life and influence. Details her childhood, adolescence, and early years as a lawyer and advocate. Historically and politically educational, and filled with many (more) reasons to respect, asmire, and strive to emulate Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Ginsberg book review

I found the book very interesting overall, but at times had trouble following or understanding the detailed legal descriptions of so many cases.