In Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law (Holt, $28), Jeffrey Rosen, president and chief executive offi cer of the National Constitution Center and a law professor at George Washington University, draws on twenty years of his discussions with Ginsburg to give a unique and fascinating portrait of the Justice. The two talk about everything from the future of Roe v. Wade and the #MeToo movement to the newest members of the High Court, and Justice Ginsburg opens up about her favorite dissents—some cases she would have liked to see overruled—and shares her insights on how to lead a life of compassion and equanimity. The mutual respect and admiration that Justice Ginsburg and Rosen feel for one another is apparent from the candid nature of the interviews, which illuminate one of the most important American heroes of our time. This book will bring you closer to Justice Ginsburg and leave you with a greater appreciation for her work and her legacy.
Author of Ambiguous Lives and Homelands and Waterways, Adele Logan Alexander taught for eighteen years at George Washington University. Princess of the Hither Isles (Yale, $30) draws on her extensive scholarship as well as on her own family history to tell the story of Adella Hunt Logan (1863-1915), a pioneering activist for social justice—and Alexander’s grandmother. Born to a white father and free woman of color in a Georgia family whose lineage also included Cherokees, Logan started teaching at age sixteen, before getting a scholarship to Atlanta University; by 1883, she was
on the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute, where she became the institution’s first woman librarian and formed a close friendship with Booker T. Washington. An advocate for equal education and universal suffrage, she wrote for The Crisis and The Colored American and was part of a circle of reformers that included Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. Du Bois. While her efforts ultimately led to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Logan suffered a breakdown and, just after Washington’s death in 1915, committed suicide. Alexander recounts her life with vivid historical insight and keen psychological acuity, doing justice to one of the many courageous women of color too often omitted from accounts of the suffrage movement.
The Book of Gutsy Women (Simon & Schuster, $35) is the first book that Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, both prolific authors, have written together. In it they identify 103 women they define as “gutsy”—women who have changed the world through their ideas, actions, creativity, courage, and persistence. The list is diverse. It includes women across generations, races,
cultures, ethnicities, geographical boundaries, vocations, and avocations. And while some are well known—former congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, tennis champion Billie Jean King, and teenage
climate activist Greta Thunberg, for example—others work or worked in virtual anonymity: scientists like Ada Lovelace and Flossie Wang-Staal, education activists like the rebellious 17th-century nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and modern crusaders like child marriage activist Fraidy Reiss and workers’ rights champion Ai-Jen Poo, and dozens more. In recounting these stories, the authors give voice to women collectively, helping to flesh out a historical narrative that has systematically excluded, ignored, or discounted the experiences, perspectives, and accomplishments of half of the world’s inhabitants. For that alone, and on behalf of womankind, thank you Hillary and Chelsea. P.S. Hope there is a volume 2!