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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.
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About the Author
Linda Hirshman is a lawyer, a cultural historian, and the author of Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution and many other books. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her PhD in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has taught philosophy and women’s studies at Brandeis University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, and POLITICO. She lives in Arizona and New York City.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Ruffled Collars xi
Part I Sandra and Ruth Come into Their Own
1 Country Girl, City Kid 3
2 The Lawsuit of Ruth's Dreams 32
3 Goldwater Girl and Card-Carrying Member of the ACLU 45
Part II Chief Litigator for the Women's Rights Project
4 Act One: Building Women's Equality 69
5 Intermission: Abortion 78
6 Act Two: Equality in Peril 84
7 Act Three: The Stay-at-Home Dad to the Rescue 94
8 Finale: Boys and Girls Together 105
Part III FWOTSC
9 Sandra O'Connor Raises Arizona 117
10 Welcome Justice O'Connor 126
11 Women Work for Justice O'Connor 156
12 Queen Sandra's Court 174
13 No Queen's Peace in the Abortion Wars 184
Part IV Sisters in Law
14 I'm Ruth, Not Sandra 199
15 Ginsburg's Feminist Voice 215
16 The Importance of Being O'Connor and Ginsburg 246
17 Justice O'Connor's Self-Inflicted Wound 255
Part V Absolute Legacy
18 The Great Dissenter 273
19 Notorious R.B.G. 289
20 Our Heroines 298
Bibliography and Sources 353
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed learning more about of them and their perspectives.
This is a subject I have great interest in so I was ready to jump in to this unique approach to judicial history. Ironically, the author tries to handle each of the justice's personal and political backgrounds equally yet in reality it doesn't work. Each page devoted to RBG led me to expect that SDO's story would pick up shortly although that varied a bit. The author's worship of Ginsburg is not displayed overtly but through subtle work choice and opportunity. The strategy pays homage to the subject herself. The reader gets the impression that the author wanted to be unique in the bio market with a 2-subject approach but began to regret it when time to celebrate the path of SDO. The author's criticism of SDO regarding her stance on abortion as State Senate majority leader is treated like other issues surrounding a conservative woman. The reader is nudged to a judgement by a writer applying 2015 "standards" to a successful woman's choices who represents the very goals of a movement the author ce lebrates. Again, ironic. The "hardly a champion of choice" line had me laughing. Critical of the woman for supporting the choice of individuals to NOT participate in abortive procedure. Good information but would wait for sale or second-hand.