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"Readers will emerge with a great deal of respect for a fiercely independent woman who battled sexism to reach the pinnacle of her profession" (Publishers Weekly).

Before taking her place as the second woman on the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg quietly led a revolution and forever changed life in America for both men and women. Reserved and quiet, she didn't set out to be a trailblazer, but there was something in her way: the law. Hundreds of years of legal precedent, a line of devastating Supreme Court cases, and countless statutes depriving women of equal citizenship and keeping them from full participation in the legal and political process.

Mixing social and legal history with a moving and intimate biography, award-winning author Teri Kanefield captures a turbulent era and tells the story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg defied expectations to become one of the most influential and powerful women in America.

Praise for Free to Be Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“We hear many voices in this wonderfully engaging biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and come away with a far richer understanding of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and of what the rise of feminism has meant for all of us, whatever our gender, whatever our politics.”
—Kathleen Vanden Heuvel, Law Library Director, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

“An absorbing personal biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that is also equal parts legal history and political philosophy. Like Ginsburg herself, Kanefield's narrative is precise, candid, logical, yet filled with humor and irony. She shows the reader the warmth and humility behind a serious legal mind. Free to Be Ruth Bader Ginsburg will appeal to a wide range of readers and is a valuable addition to all types of libraries.”
—Suzy Szasz Palmer, Past President, Virginia Library Association

“An engrossing biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that doubles as a primer on how America's champions for gender equality pressed their cause in the courts. Recommended for every law student, lawyer, and lay reader looking for an authoritative yet readable treatment of how the law shapes women's lives, and vice-versa.”
—Kathleen Morris, Associate Professor of Law, Golden Gate Law School

Free to Be is a richly detailed biography offering fascinating insights into the groundbreaking career of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and at the same time charting for readers a thorough and engaging history of the law of sex discrimination and equal protection jurisprudence that she helped to shape. Kanefield's book is a must read, not only for fans of RBG but for anyone interested in a more complete understanding of the evolution of women's rights and legal status in the U.S.”
--Sharmilla Lodhia, Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies, Santa Clara University.

“Kanefield expertly weaves together the history of women in law and the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's pragmatic and strategic approach to gradually influence changes in legal rulings related to equality in the U.S. She paints a picture of Ginsburg's drive, attention to detail, and collegiality - all things that contributed to her rise to the Supreme Court. Free to Be is a must read for those who love history, want to know more about the women's rights movement, or have an interest in modern politics and culture. I highly recommend it!”
--Kristi Jensen, Librarian, University of Minnesota

Kanefield (The Girl from the Tar Paper School) derives from mixed sources an informative, simply written account of the impressive arc of Ginsburg's life. She begins with Ginsburg's humble beginnings as the daughter of a Russian Jewish immigrant who struggled to make a go in New York City's garment business. From an early age, she demonstrated the intelligence and diligence that became her hallmark as the second woman ever on the Supreme Court. Kanefield makes accessible to laypersons the legal arguments at the heart of many of Ginsburg's cases, including the gender discrimination Ginsburg attacked when she was a practicing attorney. The justice's personal life gets appropriate attention, especially her warm and mutually supportive relationship with her late husband, Marty. Despite the book's positive tone, this is not a hagiography; Kanefield does include quotes from those critical of Ginsburg. Those who have followed Ginsburg's career and jurisprudence will not find anything new here, but most readers will emerge with a great deal of respect for a fiercely independent woman who battled sexism to reach the pinnacle of her profession.

From the Book Bloggers:

". . .thought-provoking. . . I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the history of gender discrimination."--Miss Penny's Dreadful Blog (four stars)

"Overall this was a great biography and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about one of our current Supreme Court Justices."--Yellow Brick Living (five stars)

". . . one of the best written books I've read this year."--Musings of a Books Addict (five stars)




I write novels, short stories, essays, stories for children, nonfiction for both children and adults, and lots of legal briefs. Read more about me.

My article, "Imagine This Was Your School," Appeared in Scholastic's Scope Magazine. Click here to read the article:

A collection of short personal essays and stories originally published in various national, regional, and special interests magazines. Read more.