Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A Life in American History
by Nancy Hendricks
November 2020, 227pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7421-5
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7422-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Just four women have served on the Supreme Court since its genesis in 1789, and one of them has earned a seat as an icon of American popular culture as well.

This book offers both a biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, only the second-ever woman appointed to the Supreme Court, and a historical analysis of her impact.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life in American History explores Ginsburg’s path to holding the highest position in the judicial branch of U.S. government as a Supreme Court justice for almost three decades. Readers will learn about the choices, challenges, and triumphs that this remarkable American has lived through, and about the values that shape the United States.

Ginsburg, sometimes referred to as “The Notorious RBG” or “RBG” was a professor of law, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an advocate for women’s rights, and more, before her tenure as Supreme Court justice. She has weighed in on decisions, such as Bush v. Gore (2000); King v. Burwell (2015); and Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), that continue to guide lawmaking and politics. Ginsburg’s crossover to stardom was unprecedented, though perhaps not surprising. Where some Americans see the Supreme Court as a decrepit institution, others see Ginsburg as an embodiment of the timeless principles on which America was founded.


  • Presents well-researched, factual material in an easy-to-understand writing style
  • Positions Ginsburg in the panorama of U.S. history
  • Humanizes the U.S. government by providing an intimate glimpse into the life of a public servant
  • Gives readers firsthand accounts of Ginsburg's words, beliefs, and decisions in primary documents
Nancy Hendricks, PhD, holds a doctorate in education and is an award-winning author of books such as Senator Hattie Caraway: An Arkansas Legacy and Notable Women of Arkansas: From Hattie to Hillary, 100 Names to Know, which was represented at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Recent books for ABC-CLIO include America's First Ladies: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House,Daily Life in 1950s America, Daily Life of Women in Postwar Americaand the two-volumePopular Fads and Crazes through American History.


"This is an appropriate addition to a school or public library in the service of student assignments."—Booklist Online, March 26, 2021

"Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates."—Choice, November 1, 2021

Women Making History

Women Making History is a series of single volume books that examine the lives and historical impact of the most iconic figures in American Women’s history.

Books in the Women Making History series explore the lives and contributions of important women in American history. Each volume goes beyond biographical details to consider historical context and explicitly discuss the world in which the individual lived and worked, the challenges she faced, and her lasting contributions. This approach allows readers to explore not just the life of a particular woman but also her various political, social, cultural, and historical contexts. In addition to chronological chapters, sidebars, a timeline, document excerpts, and a bibliography, an introductory chapter explores the cultural and historical significance of the individual and places her in the overall historical context, as well as how her actions, beliefs, or positions influenced not only women’s history, but history as a whole.


Each title in the series includes:
    • Series foreword
    • Preface
    • Chronological biographical chapters with sidebars
    • Supplemental chapter that explores "Why the Person Matters"
    • Timeline
    • Primary source documents
    • Bibliography
    • About the author
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