Books to Celebrate the Life & Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Carrie McBride, Communications
September 18, 2020

By any measure, Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived a remarkable life and has left behind an indelible legacy. Her legal career, including working for the American Civil Liberties Union where she headed the Women's Rights Project, spanned more than half a century, culminating in her appointment in 1993 to the United States Supreme Court. Overcoming gender discrimination in the legal field, she became a forceful voice for women's interests and civil rights throughout her career. A feminist icon to generations of women and girls and, in her later years, an unexpected pop culture hero, Ginsburg's life and career are inspiring to many. 

Learn more about the life, career and views of Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and tell her story to a young person—with these books. Many are available through our free app SimplyE and as e-books and e-audiobooks via our catalog.

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My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

Offers a collection of engaging, serious, and playful writings and speeches from the Supreme Court justice on topics ranging from gender equality and the workings of the Court to Judaism and the value of looking beyond U.S. shores when interpreting the Constitution.


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Ruth Bader Ginsberg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart

An extensively researched portrait of the 107th Supreme Court justice—written in cooperation with Ginsburg, associates, friends and family members—explores her passionate advocacy of gender equality, role in key historical changes and transformative legal influence.

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

In a lively illustrated biography of the feminist icon and legal pioneer, readers can get to know the Supreme Court Justice and fierce Jewish grandmother, who has changed the world despite our struggle with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, standing as a testament to what a little chutzpah can do.

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Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law by Jeffrey Rosen

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.

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The Unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: American Icon introduction and text by Antonia Felix, foreword by Mimi Leder, photo editor, Christopher Measom

With 130 photographs, inspiring quotes, highlights from notable speeches and judicial opinions, and insightful commentary—plus a foreword by Mimi Leder—this gorgeously illustrated book pays tribute to RBG, whose work on behalf of gender equality, and whose unprecedented career itself, indelibly changed American society.

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Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman

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.


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The RBG Way: The Secrets of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Success by Rebecca Gibian

The RBG Way offers wisdom from Justice Ginsburg, based on comments she has made on particular topics of importance. Insight is offered on subjects such as women's rights, creating lasting partnerships, overcoming hardship, how to be brave, and how to create lasting change.

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Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy

From the New York Times bestselling author of I Dissent comes a biographical graphic novel about celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


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RBG (DVD, 2018) from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films. 

At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG explores Ginsburg's life and career.

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Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life & Work by Victoria Ortiz

Interweaves dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg's iconic career with stories about her childhood, education, marriage and remarkable legal career, sharing insights into her fierce principles and passionate concerns about gender equality, fairness and constitutional rights.


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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Stacy Innerst

A picture book portrait of the controversial first Jewish woman Supreme Court Justice illuminates many of her own firsthand experiences with injustice that might have limited her opportunities, describing her prestigious education, her advocacy work as a lawyer and her important achievements with the Supreme Court.


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I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

A picture book portrait of the celebrated Supreme Court justice traces her achievements through the lens of her many famous acts of civil disagreement against inequality, unfair treatment and human rights injustice.

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Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

A portrait of the Supreme Court Justice describes the prejudices that challenged her education and a career in law, her achievements as the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, and her important contributions to high-profile cases.


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No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Nancy Zhang

An empowering introductory portrait of the second female justice of the Supreme Court describes how she faced discrimination because of her gender throughout her education and working life, revealing how her efforts to show how discrimination hurts everyone helped promote new initiatives in the fight for equality.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Laurie Calkhoven

Meet Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also known as the notorious RBG, Ginsburg is only the second female Supreme Court justice in America&;s history. She has spent her entire life fighting for equal rights for all, especially women. RBG is a true superhero and young readers are sure to love getting to know her. A special section at the back of the book includes extras like the history of the Supreme Court and how to become a lawyer. 

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Who is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? by Patricia Demuth

A latest capsule biography profiles the iconic Supreme Court Justice, tracing her advocacy for gender equality as a young lawyer, the important cases she argued before the Supreme Court and her history-shaping achievements after her 1993 confirmation.

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.