Monday, January 4, 2016

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (2015)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pure, candy-coated hagiography -- Carmon & Knizhnik venerate St. Ruth. But they do so in such a joyous and and get a kick out of it way, that you come away feeling the same way. The "Lucy" Darwinian ancestor of this biography isn't truly a medieval book of saints; rather, it's one of those Scholastic paperback biographies from the 1990s about each member of New Kids on the Block, only turned up several notches into readable enjoyability. Carmon & Knizhnik clearly adore their subject (they surely have a pin-up of RBG taped to the inside door of their lockers), but also occasionally gently poke fun at some of the more Ginsbergian things the notorious RBG does and says. But always, always in sporting, loving jest. Above all, they both ken and are then able to illustrate the seriousness of RBG's role on the court, and what her life and career represent to women of all ages. You don't have to be a liberal to appreciate the strides RBG has made for her sex. You may have to be a liberal to love this book. I know I did.

 There were many things I liked about this book:  the illustrations, the anecdotes, a gentle dusting of inside SCOTUS scoop.  I cried when Marty Ginsberg died; there is a love story for the ages.  

I particularly liked the appendix titled:  "How to Be Like RBG" because these are good rules for living life to the fullest:

Work for what you believe in,
But pick your battles,
And don't burn your bridges.
Don't be afraid to take charge.
Think about what you want, then do the work,
But then enjoy what makes you happy.
Bring along your crew.
Have a sense of humor.

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