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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Notorious RBG
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (number of quotes indicated):
  • Anthony Kennedy (2) Republican Appointee to Supreme Court
  • Barack Obama (1) Democratic President (elected 2008)
  • Elena Kagan (1) Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court
  • Jimmy Carter (1)
  • John Roberts (1) Republican Appointee to Supreme Court
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (18) Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court
  • William Rehnquist (1) Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (until 2005)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a salute to the character, hard work and accomplishments of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The book calls her “notorious,” in Hip-Hop style, but there is no doubt it is the perfect adjective. The book details her climb up the ladder of the male-dominated world of justice with each rung blocked with indifference, ignorance and condescension. RBG, as she is referred to in the book, fought back, not with verbal accusations but rather with tenacity and quiet strength, preferring to teach her lessons by example.

The book chronicles not only her legal career but opens a window into her private life as well. It details the lighter side of her, making known her deep love for the opera, workouts with her personal trainer that show this petite woman had the heart and work ethic of a heavy weight boxer and her fun side with her infamous lace collars on her justice robes. A brief history:

  • RBG was a wife and mother before starting law school.

  • She was in a very successful, happy and equality-minded marriage with Martin Ginsburg from 1954 till his death in 2010.

  • Attended Harvard Law School transferring to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class.

  • RBG went on to teach at Rutgers School of Law – Newark and Columbia Law School.

  • She spent considerable amount of time in her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. She won multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court before her Supreme Court appointment.

  • Member of the Board of Directors for the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1970s.

  • RBG was nominated by President Jimmy Carter as a judge to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Served from 1980-1993.

  • In 1993 she was nominated by President Bill Clinton as an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States. She has served from 1993 to the present (making her the second female justice, after Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981).
The book delves into her victories and defeats, her admirers and her detractors. As a left wing advocate, she could not to fly “under the radar”. RBG never expected nor wanted that. She was not afraid of a good fight or criticism – she knew it came with the territory and was a component of progress.

She worked hard on her opinions/dissents and brought a “no room for error’ work ethic to her job. RBG said herself “If my opinion runs more than twenty pages, I am disturbed that I couldn’t do it shorter.” The mantra in her chambers is “Get it right and keep it tight.” She disdains legal Latin, and demands extra clarity in an opinion’s opening lines, which she hopes the public will understand. “If you can say it in plain English, you should.”

    Listed below are some of her “greatest hits” (what RBG said, in plain English, in some key cases):

  • Abortion: Wrote the dissent in Gonsales v. Carhart (2007) -- This case allowed states to pass restrictions on abortions that did not place an “undue burden” on the woman. RBG argued abortion rights are about women’s equality, not “privacy.” “This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution – ideas that have long since been discredited.”

  • Equal Pay: Wrote the dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (2007) -- This case involved employment discrimination saying employers cannot be sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 over race or gender pay discrimination if the claims are based on decisions made by the employer 180 days ago or more. RBG’s dissent, among her many complaints, included “This court has a history of getting Title VII wrong by not understanding that this law is supposed to help victims of discrimination, not hinder them.”

  • Voting Rights: Wrote the dissent in Shelby County v. Holder (2013) -- This case involved the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It effectively allowed states to remove federal pre clearances before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices. RBG argued “But the Court today terminates the remedy that proved to be best suited to block that discrimination. The Voting Rights Act of 1954 has worked to combat voting discrimination where other remedies had been tried and failed.”
Women and minorities alike owe her a debt of gratitude that most can’t even begin to comprehend. She has been their voice, their strength, their champion for decades. She has felt the blows of defeat and the joys of victories. Without her work, gender equality and recognition and all avenues of discrimination could still be climbing out of the dark ages. RBG gave other strong, determined woman and oppressed alike the courage to speak up and fight against all kinds of injustices. And she did it all with quiet determination. As U. S. Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan said of her “More than any other person, she can take credit for making the law of this country work for women.”

RBG says “I think gender discrimination is bad for everyone, it’s bad for men, it’s bad for children. Having the opportunity to be part of that change is tremendously satisfying. Think of how the Constitution begins. ‘We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union.’ But we’re still striving for that more perfect union. And one of the perfections is for the ‘we the people’ to include an ever enlarged group.”

RBG has no delusions about future court decisions. Thirteen years into the Roberts court, much of what she has fought for remains at risk, starting with reproductive freedom. She said “We will never see a day when women of means are not able to get a safe abortion in this country.” An abortion ban, she said, only “hurts women who lack the means to go someplace else.”

How long will RBG continue to serve? RBG has her own metric for when it’s time to go. “When I forget the names of cases that I once could recite at the drop of a hat,” she said, “I will know.” Lucky for all liberals she’s not there yet.

Is this book biased? Yes, but not in a heavy handed way. It relates what RBG was fighting for and the character she possessed to not only work with the “big boys” and in many cases wake them up, but to endure all the pressures and stresses that entailed right up to the present day. RBG is a hero to the liberals and a voice of conscious to the conservatives. This book brings home how important the nominations to the country’s highest court really are. Some of the most important decisions affecting generations to come can be stalled or destroyed by one majority swing vote.

Next time you look up the work “patience” in the dictionary don’t be surprised to see a small icon of RBG there. She has taught this country what patience and perseverance really mean and she taught by example, through her opinions and dissents. She has always lived her life by what she believes in and she allows no compromises on her principles and values. She is my kind of hero.

-- Mary Ellen Quinn, OnTheIssues editor, Jan. 2018

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Anthony Kennedy: Our obligation is to define liberty, not mandate moral code.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Political right uses ambiguous law as obstacles to abortion.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Abortion restrictions won't affect women of means.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Boldness of Roe prolongs divisiveness; state-by-state better.
Civil Rights
    Elena Kagan: Credit Ruth Bader Ginsburg for making country work for women.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Consistent fighter for women being involved in all decisions.
    John Roberts: Racial discrimination in voting has changed in last 50 years.
    Jimmy Carter: Determined to get more women as appeals court.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Treating women differently implies judgment of inferiority.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Laws to "protect" women are impermissible.
Families & Children
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Experienced firsthand women being invisible.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: True women's lib is when fathers take equal responsibility.
    William Rehnquist: Cited RBG in reverse discrimination case on men.
Government Reform
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A voice to every voter undiluted by race.
Homeland Security
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: WWII "war against racism" fought by segregated troops?
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Military men must get accustomed to commands from women.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Air Force discharging pregnant women is sex discrimination.
    Barack Obama: Signed Ledbetter Fair Pay Law in first month of presidency.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Identified with Lilly Ledbetter, the story of every woman.
Principles & Values
    Anthony Kennedy: Write judicial opinions with clarity instead of legal Latin.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Student teacher in European literature.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: RBG was "life partner" with husband despite 1950s stereotype.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Reputation as a great dissenter began with Bush v. Gore.
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: RBG learned life lessons from her hero, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Social Security
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Worked at Social Security office and bent the rules.

The above quotations are from Notorious RBG
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Feb 19, 2019