My Own Words

  • by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett, Wendy W. Williams
  • Narrated by Linda Lavin
  • 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 is a selection of writings and speeches by 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 contains a sampling 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.
This audiobook features archival original recordings of Justice Ginsburg’s speeches and bench announcements.


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Customer Reviews

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RBG's Greatest Hits

"Our commission is to do what is right, what the law requires, and what is just." Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ultra-light yet immensely tough. 200 times stronger than steel, yet incredibly flexible. Changing the world. The University of Manchester may have discovered graphene in 2004, but Columbia Law School, Harvard, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found something much stronger and much more revolutionary years earlier: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As an Associate US Supreme Court Justice, she's "The Notorious RBG" the Graphene Justice.

"My Own Words" (2016) is a collection of the best of RBG's speeches, writings, and dissents from the bench - so far. Justice Ginsburg is only 83 as I write this review, and she's physically active and mentally agile. She could stay for a very long time. I saw her on the bench years ago, and when she spoke, every other Justice got still and silent. What respect. What power. As Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court said - and Ginsburg quotes, "For both men and women, the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show."

I tried to pick out a few parts of the book that I liked best for this review, but I ended up with two dozen bookmarks. The story of how and why she and her husband ended up as co-counsel on a tax law case - appealing to the US Supreme Court based on a one page brief written by a taxpayer who represented himself on an initial appeal - is an exciting underdog triumph. It's a reassurance that sometimes the greatest of changes start small and mean thinking differently. Some parts of "My Own Words" just weren't as interesting to me. Try as I might, I just haven't developed an interest in comparative foreign law and legal procedure.

I suspect that. RBG intended to retire this year, so that President Barrack Obama could appoint a liberal to succeed her. The timing of "My Own Words," released a day after the start of the Supreme Court's 2016-2017 term, would have been perfect. The sudden death of her BFF, the very conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, must have put that on hold.

RBG's been outspoken on a couple of controversial issues recently. She called presidential candidate Donald Trump a "faker". She issued an apology through SCOTUS that, "Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office." RBG didn't limit her comments to to the Alt Right. She just made a more genuine apology for criticizing San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, admitting she didn't know enough about his protest.

The book contains a lot of Ginsburg's actual speeches, and is interspersed with actress Linda Levin narrating some speeches and commentary. I've been an avid Audible listener for almost half a decade, and I've never heard anyone so clearly enjoy the story she was reading as much as Lavin does. You can hear the smile in her voice in some happy sections, hear her utter delight at telling the story. I convinced myself that Lavin was from a walk up, cold water, six story brick apartment building with pull down metal latticework fire escapes in Brooklyn. Well, maybe Queens but definitely not the Bronx. That's where Justice Sonia Sotomayor is from, and she didn't sound like her. Lavin is actually from Portland, Maine.

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

A Supreme Court Justice and the Laws around Her

II expected the book would be more about the personal life of a woman and legal scholar who I admire so much. Instead, I learned a LOT more about the laws and Supreme Court decisions that have importantly shaped a growing democracy.
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- Pat Donohue

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio