Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik | Book Review

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by  Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik | Book ReviewNotorious RBG by Irin CarmonShana Knizhnik
Published by HarperCollins on October 27th 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Lawyers & Judges, Women, Social Science, Popular Culture
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062415820

“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.

Notorious RBG: The Life And Times Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik is the inaugural book I chose to check out with my new library card. I had initially heard of this book via Audible and added it to my wishlist there, but if we are being honest with each other — this is the kind of book that should be read physically, given all the images and the careful layout of the pages. Frankly, Notorious RBG is one of those books that manages to be both fun and educating. I’m so glad I decided to borrow it from the library!

Notorious RBG: The Life And Times Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is totally a coffee table type of book that is actually a lot of fun to delve into and very readable without being too heavy. As the title promises, this book is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and how she was a pioneer in the legal world, especially for women. We learn about her childhood and how intense she was in regards to studying. We learn how hard of a worker she is. We also learn about a love that lasted more than half a century. Further, this book delves into the workings of the supreme court and how Ginsburg works hard to get the justices who are ideologically different from her to come over to her side. It is a fascinating view of the legal victories and setbacks women have faced and how much Ginsburg has to do with some of those victories.

I basically love memes and the internet and GIFs. So, of course Notorious RBG: The Life And Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik appeals to me. I loved how this book is very bold in discussing sexism and feminism and how cool it is that Ginsburg is feminist. I loved how it made legal theory a bit easier to understand. I think if you’ve sat through a constitutional law class, this book should hold extra interest to you because you’ll understand how the supreme court works and thus you won’t be too terribly confused about what you are reading.

Overall, I can definitely see this book in civics and participation in government or social studies classrooms. I really do think it should be in high school libraries too. This book takes a woman who is so accomplished and a trailblazer and puts her story in a way that is accessible and visually interesting. This is truly a non fiction book for the tumblr generation, and so it has real educational and entertainment value.

Other reviews of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik:

We Still Read – “I highly, highly recommend this if you’re interested in RBG at all.

Readingsara – “read this book. Learn something new. You will be glad that you did.

Read Write Wander Wonder – “a clever assemblage

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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