Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” as Want to Read:
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  29,936 ratings  ·  3,971 reviews
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 wit
...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Dey Street Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Notorious RBG, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ringo Yes. As a high school English teacher I would absolutely recommend this book for my students. The excerpts and commentary from RBG's dissents makes…moreYes. As a high school English teacher I would absolutely recommend this book for my students. The excerpts and commentary from RBG's dissents makes the legal process very accessible for young people. Her fight for equality is really just that, showing that any perceived advantages won by women or racial minority groups are beneficial to ALL of society - this concept is one that high school students don't always grasp.

RBG inspires because she is quietly, doggedly determined and very, very intelligent, not because she's glamorous. In some ways she's quite conventional - middle class, married young and stayed married, had two kids, went to university and got a job, didn't kick up a fuss early on when she knew she was being treated unfairly. She's not the usual kind of role model we hold up to young people (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,936 ratings  ·  3,971 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Rachael
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For every millennial who thinks Lena Dunham is an important feminist, pick up this tidy gem of the feminist movement and fucking digest. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is bae.
Petra CigareX
I'm not a feminist although I was once until I realised that I didn't want to stop at having equal opportunities and rewards in a man's world. I wanted the world to become more female-centric. Women and men are quite different in many ways, we have strengths and priorities and ways of working things out, and now we've tried the man's way, let's move on to the women's.

When I read that Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, "“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of br
...more
carol.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ruth, people interested in courts and decisions, feminists
Recommended to carol. by: Alfred Haplo
I'm still mad at RBG.

Appointed by Clinton in 1993, Ruth was only the second female on the Supreme Court (That's right, kids: the mens used to think that mixing a career and family was too much for us. It wasn't until 1993 that we had enough juice to play in the most powerful court. Did you vote for Hilary?).

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has acquired a bit of a cult following since then, perhaps because our perceptions of both petite, reticent women, and elderly women don't always square with the powerhou
...more
Iris P
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“So now the perception is, yes, women are here to stay. And when I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]? And I say when there are nine, people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

**************************************
...more
Laura
Apr 19, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Tamara Kramer
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This delightful book is a love letter to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A well-written look into the work she has done on behalf of women for the past 55+ years (it was conversational while obviously incredibly well-researched, and as a reformed lawyer I appreciated the way the authors described the legal system in a way that was both accurate AND accessible), as well as a beautiful tribute to her marriage to Marty Ginsburg. I cried several times, was inspired to fight harder for the things I beli ...more
Jamise // Spines & Vines
I originally gave this delightful book a 4 star rating. As I started thinking of my review an overwhelming sense of enjoyment came over me as I remembered my feelings as I read this story. Therefore, I'm changing my rating to 5 stars.

Notorious RBG gives you a glimpse inside the life and iconic career of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After reading this book, my level of respect for Justice Ginsburg deepened. She's a true feminist who has lived her life as a die hard champion for civil rights, wome
...more
Taryn Pierson
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I had just finished listening to Notorious RBG when news broke of Antonin Scalia’s death, and I’m glad for it, because I had a much more nuanced reaction than I would have had without the benefit of the insider knowledge Carmon and Knizhnik provide about the unlikely friendship between outspoken Reagan appointee Scalia and surprise feminist icon Ginsburg. It would have been much easier to write Scalia off as a blowhard conservative (which part of me still believes he was), but clearly RBG saw so ...more
Ian
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suspect I'm giving 5 Stars to RBG rather than the book.
What a woman.
I don't cheer at the end of movies. I think it's dumb. I just want to say, "They can't hear you!!!"
But I felt like cheering after reading a few of her dissents.
She's all class.

...and I guess the book is okay.
Kelli
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t love the structure of this book, mostly because it was very reminiscent of a textbook and also, I didn’t really get the Notorious B.I.G. piece. I understood it but I didn’t really get how it added anything. Then again, I’m not the intended audience.

RBG is a badass. She deserves all respect, attention, accolades and (potentially) her cult status. I’d rock an RBG t-shirt. I’m not sure why she didn’t in the photos. That would’ve been epic!

5 stars for the woman, 3 stars for the book.
Diane
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is such an inspiring person — she's spent much of her law career working toward empowering women and seeking gender equality.

This book is filled with good stories and photographs about RBG's life. My favorite parts were about her experiences as a female law student, the gender discrimination cases she's worked on, and stories about her marriage to Marty, who was by all accounts an amazing husband and partner.

I highly recommend this b
...more
Liz
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs
This was a selection of one of my book clubs. I admit it's not a book I would have chosen to read on my own. And it starts off very dry. Still, it does a good job of conveying her ideas on how the law should work and how it should be changed, especially why Roe v. Wade continues to be at risk of being overturned. So many of both the cases she argued and the ones she opined on concern women’s equality issues.
The Chapter on her marriage is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. And then a few
...more
Trish
It is hard to argue with Antonin Scalia when he described Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as “an intelligent woman and a nice woman and a considerate woman—all the qualities you like in a person.” Add to that, she is a persistent person and a principled person and a fair person—all the qualities you want in a lawyer.

This work is an act of homage. When R.B.G. gave two dissents on one day, on June 25, 2013, fans of her opinions started drawing, composing songs, writing poems. She inspire
...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Yes, she is our gal!

Notorious RBG is a very informative book about this wonderful, smart, just, remarkable, leader, and beautiful woman! This book takes you through her personal life, education, career, and achievements. It is also packed with pictures, man oh man, she was a beauty not just a brain! She is still very stylish! A true hero for women and men!
Jessica
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
This is a fun, informative examination into the life of one of my personal heroes. It doesn't give the kind of depth that an academic bio would provide, but it gets the job done with humor and admiration.

Now there's a coloring book, so I guess I'm gonna have to jump on that trend:
Tiffany Reisz
Very cute. Heavy on pics and light on substance but it was a super fun read. I can imagine a 14 year old girl reading this and deciding to go to Law School to be the next RBG and that's a great thing.
Amanda
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, non-fiction
https://guninactone.wordpress.com/201...

A few things I took away from this delightful book that should convince you to read about an amazing woman.

RBG is in her 80’s and does 20 push-ups a day. 20 PUSH-UPS A DAY. If that doesn’t tell you she’s a bad-ass that you should want to read about, read on.

This woman was a mother of a 1 year-old, 1 of 9 women in her class at Harvard law when her husband Marty was diagnosed with cancer. Marty was also a law student, a year ahead of RBG at Harvard. RBG cam
...more
Adam
May 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars would probably be more accurate, but eh. Ginsburg is an excellent subject for a biography, but I get the feeling that the author of this book just didn't want to work very hard. Which, you know, fine, it's called "Notorious RBG" so it's obviously not supposed to be the last definitive word or anything, but a bit more depth would be nice.

Here's an example: one chapter ends with Ginsburg leaving America for Sweden to live for a year and research a book on Swedish civil procedure. This
...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)


5 stars for the woman, 3 stars for the book.

The book itself was a bit dry with an awkward structure and a dull narrator, but the content was fascinating. I started this audiobook to try to learn more about RBG and I certainly accomplished that. However, I think the formatting could have been a bit more compelling. I think I'll continue reading more about RBG as her personal and professional career is #inspiration.

goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog
Jill Mackin
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s RBG, of course, it was an amazing read. The author included a number of Justice Ginsburg’s decisions. What a trail blazer she is for the rights of women.
Connie
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Co-author Shana Knizhnik created a blog in 2013 devoted to the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The millennial NYU law student set up the blog as "fan-nonfiction" after Ginsburg read several liberal dissents from the bench. The late Notorious BIG was a famous rapper, and the blog name "Notorious RBG" is a play on his name. The blog was fresh, colorful, and celebrated Ginsburg's contributions to feminism, equal rights, and voting rights. The blog led to the publication of this book seve ...more
Kelly Hager
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew before I read this book that I liked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But I wasn't very familiar with her before she became a justice on the Supreme Court. (Given her age and the fact that she was only the second female justice---and the fact that there have only been four---I knew she was a trailblazer, but I didn't understand just how amazing her life has been.)

The book includes excerpts of opinions she's written and has a lot of pictures, but the real joy (for me) is in learning more about
...more
Don Bradshaw
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
An amazing book about a totally remarkable individual who has given so much to this country. Her devotion to the constitution is unfailing. There are numerous pictures that follow RBG through her life. At 83 she has faced monumental adversity yet came back stronger and more determined every time. With no desire to retire from the bench, I can only look forward to great things from this irrepressible woman.
Marta
This book is a joy to read - beautiful, educational, inspirational, and lovingly written by enthusiastic young admirers of this fascinating woman.

"Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead lead others to join you." RBG has spent her entire life working for equality for everyone. She argued that discrimnitation based on sex hurts both women and men. She tirelessly, case by case worked on removing each obstacle, building precedents, following her principle of increment
...more
Melanie
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a difficult time deciding what rating to give this book. On the one hand, I try hard to reserve my five star reviews for books that are among my absolute favorites and for things that I would readily term literary masterpieces. Staring at the rating button for this book, debating which of the little line of stars I should highlight, I very nearly selected 4 stars instead of 5. In the end, however, I realized that this book actually is a new favorite, and, if I were trying to find critiques ...more
Jessica
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to put this down quite a few times and choke down rage over the legal and social discrimination women (and men) faced, but I'd pick it up again and then be relieved to see how RBG came at the cases methodically, working incrementally to dismantle a system that saw women as property or less worthy (or men as less worthy of being caretakers!). I had no idea she'd been with the ACLU, and her decades-long love affair with her husband was beautiful to read about. I really, really recommend this ...more
Jean
When the Supreme Court reported its verdict in Shelby County v Holder which discarded a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act; Justice Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, which has been reported as the equivalent of shaming your spouse in front of dinner guests. More unusual still was that she’d read two other dissents from the bench the day before.

The event triggered law student Shana Knizhnik to begin a blog called “Notorious RBG.” It seemed that suddenly Ginsburg became a star, wit
...more
Holly
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I didn't know anything about this book at the outset, only noticed it had a long wait at the library - so I jumped on that bandwagon. I assumed it was a graphic novel/comic book. Actually turned out to be a biography of the Justice told from a feminist viewpoint for an audience of millennials. The hagiography was thick and some of it was really dumbed down/simplified; I could have done without the chapter on Ginsburg's sartorial choices and fashion accessories. But in the end I learned many thin ...more
Antoinette Perez
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Oh, my heavens. RBG is a fave. This book, although it read more like a textbook than a bio, does her life and her career justice. (Hahahahaha. ???) I didn't think I could adore her more, but I do after reading this. And, thanks to the journalistic style of writing, I actually understand more of the nuances of cases past (Roe v. Wade) than I did before.

My big takeaways: Believe with conviction, and act strategically, collegially. Play the long game. Feminism is truly for everyone's benefit. I wil
...more
Lorna
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a delightful biography with endearing photographs and graphics, and described as a collaborative process by Irin Carmon with Shana Knizhnik. The authors interviewed Ruth Bader Ginsburg as well as her family, close friends, colleagues and clerks, in addition to extensive research into the archives at the Library of Congress. There is also extensive research into the legal career of RBG and her continuous championing of equal rights for ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
  • Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
  • Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
  • My Own Words
  • Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World
  • Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space
  • Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead
  • March: Book Two (March, #2)
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts
  • She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story
  • This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines
  • The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution
  • Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work
  • The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life
  • Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color
71 followers
Irin Carmon is an Israeli-American journalist and commentator. She is a national reporter at MSNBC, covering women, politics, and culture for the website and on air. She is a Visiting Fellow in the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School.

In 2011, she was named one of Forbes' "30 under 30" in media and featured in New York Magazine as a face of young feminism. She received
...more
“The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.” 53 likes
“For some reason, people repeatedly have asked RBG when she thought there would be enough women on the court. The question is asinine, her answer effective: 'When there are nine.” 25 likes
More quotes…