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Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and…
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Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to…

by Linda Hirshman

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Boring but still of interest to particular people. I had been intrigued by this book looking at two of the Supreme Court Justices, Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It covers everything from their lives to the infamous Notorious RGB meme and the history of SCOTUS with these two women on it.
 
While I think it's an important read, it's not a good one. At first I was pleasantly surprised that the author seemed to make the alternating paths work as she switches from following one than the other. But as time goes on, she spends several chapters on each before switching back. In retrospect, it was also unnecessary and perhaps a strange choice, because O'Connor was on the bench for more than 10 years before Ginsburg came on.
 
And honestly, I found the text boring. It could be that I'm just not into reading legal cases (good thing I didn't go to law school!), but aside from a few here and there, after awhile my eyes wanted to fall out. As the book went on I got the impression that the author actually wanted to write about Ginsburg rather than O'Connor. Maybe it's just me, but the angle Hirshman used to approach these two women (equal rights, women in SCOTUS, etc.) just didn't quite work.
 
I also got the impression from the marketing and from the initial chapters the book would explore the friendship/relationship between these two. At best, they were work colleagues in a very lofty, very isolated organization.So while they bonded obviously to some degree by being the only two women, it doesn't seem like they had a bond the author/marketing portrayed them to be. That there wasn't a special bond isn't my issue (given their backgrounds and all), it's that once again marketing slightly misled me.
 
As a minor aside, I also felt the book was too uncritical of its subjects. I'm aware of what the author was trying to do and the amount of access she would have (both are still living), but it made O'Connor and Ginsburg seem awfully remote in many ways. Which is something that would come naturally given their positions, but I felt it didn't quite service the book.
 
It's still worth a read, but be prepared for a bit of a slog. Recommend the library to test it out before you buy it. Would be of interest to lawyers, law students, anyone who's interested in either/both these women, SCOTUS in general, etc.
 
  ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Nominally about both RBG and SDO but Ruth's career is presented in great and loving detail while SDO is given only superficial treatment and pictured as somewhat of a lightweight. Lauren was really angry with the author for her clear bias. ( )
  BookBuddies | Dec 16, 2017 |
The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl - transcends party, religion, region, and culture. These groundbreaking judges have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. They have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives. Hirshman combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women in focus. It is a moving story of a remarkable friendship.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Nov 5, 2017 |
It's great that this book exists and highlights the achievements of these two extraordinary women. However, it's fairly dense (which is reasonable, it's about law), and it's SUPER liberal. I'm liberal myself, but I still had to read between the lines to get a picture of what's actually happening, rather than the author's interpretation. But at the same time, I borrowed this copy from an older male law professor, and he wrote notes in the margins like "tone!" and "snarky" that I don't think he would have written if it were a male author. So, we still have work to do... ( )
  Alliebadger | Jul 27, 2017 |
5478. Sisters in Law How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. by Linda Hirshman (read 20 Jun 2017). This is a 2015 book which traces the lives of O'Connor and Ginsburg and tells how they came to be appointed to the Court; O'Connor as Reagan's first appointment in 1981 (she was confirmed unanimously) and Ginsburg in 1993 as Clinton's first appointment (she was confirmed by a vote of 96 to 3, one of the votes against her being Jesse Helms). O'Connor after a while tended to be a centrist, with no particular judicial philosophy--though she had no hesitancy in voting her political party in Bush V. Gore. Ginsburg had had a distinguished career as a lawyer and her brilliance led the Republicans to not oppose her ascension to the Supreme Court. On the Court she has fought hard for women's rights and the underdog. I found the book very readable and the discussion of the cases considered able and informative. One can be glad Ginsburg is on the Court. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 20, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062238469, Hardcover)

The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.

The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.

Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives.

Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 02 Aug 2015 18:47:04 -0400)

An account of the intertwined lives of the first two women to be appointed to the Supreme Court examines their respective religious and political beliefs while sharing insights into how they have influenced interpretations of the Constitution to promote equal rights for women.… (more)

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