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

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Sandra Day O’Connor made history in 1981 by being named the First Woman Supreme Court Justice in the United States. Ruth Bader Ginsburg would become the second woman appointed in 1993. Their paths to this powerful, benevolent institution were different, but shared the similarity of discrimination in their beginnings. Sandra Day O’Connor was from Arizona and a conservative; Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn and rose to prominence in a liberal forefront. Sandra Day O’Connor would meet discrimination in Arizona while attempting to join a law firm, but was discounted because of her gender. Ruth Bader Ginsburg would meet this same unfair practice while she attended Harvard. Both women succeeded despite these impediments — O’Connor working her way up the Republican Party ladder to become an Associate Attorney General, while Ginsburg worked from the ACLU to esteemed professor to Appellate Court Judge. Sisters In Law chronicles these two distinct women and their herculean journeys to become Supreme Court Justices. O’Connor’s way was almost more subtle, though not quiet, while Ginsburg’s was radical, but not without a compromise.

Linda Hirshman’s dual biography is remarkable in its detailing of the two justice’s meteoric rise to the pinnacle of judicial power in this country. There is empathy, but also the occasional criticism in the judges’ work as one of the hallowed nine in black balancing the scales of justice in the United States. The author paints a landscape of male chauvinism that was overwhelming in its prevalence throughout much of O’Connor and Ginsburg lives. Hirshman subtly highlights how both women learned to hit back at an unfair system and win points for women’s rights. This book is a must read for a biography and American History.


Reviewed By:

Author Linda Hirshman
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 2015-Sep-01
ISBN 9780062238467
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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