Top positive review
Designed by "#millennial" women, inspiring for anyone
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2015
I don't think someone from my generation would have the imagination to design a book this way, or to include a photo feature about a Supreme Court Justice's "swag." But fundamentally this is a wonderful book about the difference an individual can make. The book's breezy style has a deeper and more serious significance, as well.
I was touched by many things in this book, not only the courage of Justice Ginsburg's opinions, or the loving handwritten note from her dying husband, but even by the photos illustrating her close friendship with Justice Scalia, one of her ideological opposites - it's rare to see such a mensh in these times. The format is terrifically creative for this sort of subject: the NY Times reviewer aptly described it as being "as if a scrapbook and the Talmud decided to have a baby." The latter comes in especially for the way the book's margins are used for commenting on everything -- not just for the obvious connections to a Justice who is Jewish. (Apropos of that, though, one thing did puzzle me: the recipe for pork in milk at the back. Breaking two of the Jewish religion's food taboos at once -- isn't that a little gangsta? Was that the idea, or is the whole thing a joke? And actually, one other thing: the publisher's subject classification on the back cover is "Fiction." Aside from the recipe, I hope not.)
I now live in Japan and teach comparative constitutional law there. Pretty much no one, including most law professors, can name the justices of the Japan Supreme Court, who are chosen for their anonymity, their conformity to a certain social background, and their timidity of thought. And throughout its nearly 70-year existence, the JSC has always upheld laws and regulations that limit civil rights. One reason I got this book was to be able to show my students how completely different the relationship between a country's Supreme Court and its citizens can be. In most countries of the world, a book like this would be inconceivable. While I'm not saying that many other Justices deserve such a tribute, this book should be a great reminder for Americans how lucky you are not only to have Justice Ginsburg, but also to be capable of such affectionate engagement with your government.