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My Own Words
Cover of My Own Words
My Own Words
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The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993—a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women's rights, and popular culture.
My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book's sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most influential women.
The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993—a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women's rights, and popular culture.
My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book's sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most influential women.
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About the Author-
  • Born in 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended the Harvard and Columbia University Law Schools, and taught law at Rutgers and Columbia. During the 1970s, while teaching at Columbia, she was instrumental in launching the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, and became the leading advocate in the Supreme Court for gender equality. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1980 and to the US Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. In 2009 Forbes named Ginsburg among the 100 Most Powerful Women, Glamour named her one of their 1993 Women of the Year and in 2012 presented her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 Time listed her as an Icon in the Time 100, and in 2016 Fortune named her one of the World's Greatest Leaders.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 29, 2016
    This collection of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s writings, spanning 70 years, is an excellent introduction to this Renaissance woman and will whet readers’ appetites for her forthcoming biography by coauthors Hartnett and Williams. No one will be surprised that it contains cogent, well-reasoned, and accessible entries on subjects of general interest, such as equal rights for women and judicial independence. Even those who have followed the octogenarian jurist over her long and distinguished tenure on the Supreme Court will find plenty of less expected items to relish, including an editorial Ginsburg wrote as an eighth grader in 1946 for her Brooklyn elementary school newspaper on the importance of the new U.N. Charter. Her passion for operas is expressed in remarks she made on the radio in 2015, analyzing how law and lawyers have been portrayed in them. At a time of bitter political partisanship, her respect and affection for colleagues with different views, as displayed in posthumous tributes to fellow justices Rehnquist and Scalia, are very welcome. The variety of subjects is impressive, and Ginsburg’s gift for concision enables her to discuss them in enough detail to engage interest while leaving the reader wanting more. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 5, 2016
    This collection of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s writings, spanning 70 years, is an excellent introduction to the remarkable career of a Renaissance woman whose views on the world, coupled with her sharp, frank commentary on current events, has earned her a cult following on the Internet. Selected by Ginsburg and her authorized biographers, Hartnett and Williams, the collection covers a wide range of subjects, including gender equality, judicial independence, her respect and affection for colleagues with different views, and her passion for opera; there’s even an editorial Ginsburg wrote as an eighth grader in 1946 for her Brooklyn elementary school newspaper on the importance of the new U.N. Charter. The audio edition includes archival recordings of Ginsburg’s speeches. The other pieces are read in a straightforward manner by actress Lavin. This works well. While it’s wonderful to connect directly to Ginsburg, the justice reads aloud very slowly and precisely, with pauses between phrases so nothing is lost; it would be difficult to listen to an audiobook composed entirely of her recordings. A Simon & Schuster hardcover.

  • Kirkus

    From the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, a collection of writings ranging from the slight to the serious.Now 83, women's rights icon Ginsburg nears the close of her distinguished career as a law professor, appellate advocate, judge, and justice, arguably having done more to move our law in the direction of gender equality than any living person. Now, as two Georgetown Law professors, Hartnett and Williams (emerita) prepare her official biography, they have collected Ginsburg's speeches, lectures, articles, and opinions, some on offer here. They preface most of this material with explanatory, wholly complimentary notes and begin with a chapter of juvenilia, demonstrating Ginsburg's early interest in human rights and in preserving individual liberties. Passages devoted to "the lighter side" of life at the Supreme Court include, for example, Ginsburg's musings on lawyers depicted in opera, not least her own "starring" role in Scalia/Ginsburg. There follows a section on "waypavers" and "pathmarkers," Ginsburg's tributes to, among others, Belva Lockwood, the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court Bar, Gloria Steinem, "the face of feminism," and Sandra Day O'Connor, the court's first woman justice. Especially good are the author's observations on the court's "Jewish seat" and her charming lecture on four notable Supreme Court wives. These, and many other agreeable selections, are characterized as "remarks," delivered and often recycled for various audiences. The collection also contains numerous bench announcements, summaries of some of Ginsburg's most consequential opinions and dissents, and a few revealing essays that offer keys to her jurisprudence: for example, her perspective on the role of dissents, the value of consulting foreign law, and the wisdom of "measured motions" by the judiciary, wherein she mildly criticizes Roe v. Wade for provoking a backlash and halting "a political process that was moving in a reform direction." Only the most dedicated Ginsburg fans, and there are many, will devour everything here, but most readers will find items of interest from this icon of women's rights. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from October 15, 2016

    This compendium of Ginsburg's lectures and addresses, compiled with her official biographers Mary Harnett and Wendy W. Williams, perfectly complements the work of others on the topic of the justice's life and writing. The book consists of five illustrative parts: "Early Years and Lighter Side," "Tributes to Waypavers and Pathmarkers," "On Gender Equality: Women and the Law," "A Judge Becomes a Justice," and "The Justice on Judging and Justice." These representative pieces cogently excerpt Justice Ginsburg's writings from a high school newspaper editorial to famous Supreme Court dissents. Along the way, Ginsburg pays homage to struggles of Jewish and female attorneys and jurists. Not surprisingly, she serves as an exemplar, and her work toward gender equality is well represented in this superb book. "Workways of the Supreme Court," her remarks on the inner workings of Supreme Court practice and procedure, should be required reading for first year law students and for the rest of us as well. VERDICT Indispensable for readers of Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik's Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and invaluable to fans of the Notorious RBG and to students of Anglo-American jurisprudence. [See "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 9/1/16, p. 29.]--Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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