In her own words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers an intimate look at her life and career, through an extraordinary series of conversations with the head of the National Constitution Center.
This remarkable book presents a unique portrait of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, drawing on more than twenty years of conversations with Jeffrey Rosen, starting in the 1990s and continuing through the Trump era. Rosen, a veteran legal journalist, scholar, and president of the National Constitution Center, shares with us the justice’s observations on a variety of topics, and her intellect, compassion, sense of humor, and humanity shine through. The affection they have for each other as friends is apparent in their banter and in their shared love for the Constitution—and for opera.
In Conversations with RBG, Justice Ginsburg discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, her favorite dissents, the cases she would most like to see overruled, the #MeToo movement, how to be a good listener, how to lead a productive and compassionate life, and of course the future of the Supreme Court itself. These frank exchanges illuminate the steely determination, self-mastery, and wit that have inspired Americans of all ages to embrace the woman known to all as “Notorious RBG.”
Whatever the topic, Justice Ginsburg always has something interesting—and often surprising—to say. And while few of us will ever have the opportunity to chat with her face-to-face, Jeffrey Rosen brings us by her side as never before. Conversations with RBG is a deeply felt portrait of an American hero.
Jeffrey Rosen is the author of nonfiction books, including the recent Louis D. Brandeis and William Howard Taft. He is the president and chief executive officer of the National Constitution Center, a law professor at George Washington University, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He was previously the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and a staff writer for The New Yorker.
"Will surely entice the many who can’t get enough of our country’s most meme-able jurist. . . . Readers who come for RBG’s Greatest Hits will end up getting something richer: At its best, Conversations makes you feel like a student in the world’s coolest law school seminar." —The Washington Post
“Imagine having a cup of coffee with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and chatting about law, the Supreme Court, marriage, family, music, wins and losses. If that seems unlikely to happen, Jeffrey Rosen’s Conversations with RBG is the best possible substitute.” —Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times and author of Becoming Justice Blackmun
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vantage on American law and politics is without equal. This collection of interviews, conducted over decades, covers her distinguished career as a lawyer, judge, and Supreme Court justice, and gets to the very heart of her understanding of the Constitution, and what’s at stake in its interpretation.” —Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a pivotal figure in American history—a pathbreaking litigator and Supreme Court justice. Conversations with RBG is a fascinating look at the person behind the cases and opinions. Justice Ginsburg’s humor, deep intellect, and warmth shine through in this captivating book.” —Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello and Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard Law School
"In this discerning work . . . Rosen's helpful notes and straightforward interview style allow Ginsburg's exceptional legal mind to take center stage. The justice's many admirers, as well as readers interested in constitutional law, will find this book to be full of valuable insights." —Publishers Weekly
"With Conversations With RBG Rosen has given us a thoughtful, readable and powerfully illustrative reminder of how fortunate the nation is to continue to have Justice Ginsburg as a teacher." —Judge M. Margaret McKeown, Law360.com
“To anyone who believes Supreme Court justices speak only in pronouncements handed down like chiseled tablets from Mount Sinai, Jeffrey Rosen’s Conversations with RBG will come as a revelation. . . . Ginsburg, ever the optimist, believes we’re ‘constantly forming a more perfect Union, which is what the Founders intended.’ Conversations with RBG is an enlightening look at her vital contribution to that process.” —BookPage