Be More RBG by Marilyn Easton

The Blurb On The Back:

Make yourself heard – on and off the bench

Whether you spend your days arguing your case at work, fighting gender discrimination, or raising the next generation of dissenters, call an adjournment and ask yourself,

”What would RBG do?”

Grab your collar and get motivated to change the world with words of inspirational wit and wisdom from Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman ever appointed to the US Supreme Court, prior to which she was known and respected for her work advocating for gender equality and women’s rights.  In her time on the bench, she has become leader of the Court’s liberal wing and is well known for her dissents with her increased public profile earning her the nickname Notorious RBG.

In this peculiar self-help book based on Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a brand, Marilyn Easton frames aspects of Ginsburg’s life and experience as a motivational tool for the reader.  It’s a very US-centric book and I found it both patronising and shallow without ever doing Ginsburg or her career justice but if you’re absolutely desperate for a self-help gift for the feminist or lawyer in your life, then it may be worth a shot.

The book has a very brief summary of Ginsburg’s life and is structured around aspects of her life experience, which the reader is invited to take inspiration from.  For example, there’s a section on the importance of speaking up and being the voice of dissent, one on disagreeing agreeably and with style, one on blocking out haters etc.  The references are all really shallow and I didn’t find any of them inspirational (I would have been more inspired had Easton actually taken something that Ginsburg campaigned on as a lawyer).  I was also a little annoyed by the encouragement to “find your Marty”, which suggests that you need to find a life partner in order to be unstoppable – not a great message to be sending to the powerful single people out there.

Although Ginsburg is part of the US establishment, I’m not sure how well known she is in the United Kingdom so I don’t know how much readers will take from the book.  Also, given how superficial this is and how empty the motivational “lessons” are, I struggle to see how much people will get from it.  It’s clearly intended to appeal to feminists (although I think that lawyers may be more interested in it on the basis that they’re more likely to be familiar with her work) but given how expensive it is, I can’t really recommend this as a gift unless you’re really desperate.

BE MORE RBG: SPEAK TRUTH AND DISSENT WITH SUPREME STYLE will be released in the United Kingdom on  1st October 2019.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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