• Dinners with Ruth

  • A Memoir of Friendship
  • By: Nina Totenberg
  • Narrated by: Nina Totenberg
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (909 ratings)

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Dinners with Ruth

By: Nina Totenberg
Narrated by: Nina Totenberg
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Publisher's Summary

Celebrated NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg delivers an extraordinary memoir of her personal successes, struggles, and life-affirming relationships, including her beautiful friendship of nearly 50 years with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Four years before Nina Totenberg was hired at NPR, where she cemented her legacy as a prizewinning reporter, and nearly 22 years before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court, Nina called Ruth. A reporter for The National Observer, Nina was curious about Ruth’s legal brief, asking the Supreme Court to do something revolutionary: declare a law that discriminated “on the basis of sex” to be unconstitutional. In a time when women were fired for becoming pregnant, often could not apply for credit cards, or could not get a mortgage in their own names, Ruth patiently explained her argument. That call launched a remarkable, nearly 50-year friendship.

Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. It is also an intimate memoir of the power of friendships as women began to pry open career doors and transform the workplace. At the story’s heart is one, special relationship: Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During the devastating illness and eventual death of Nina’s first husband, Ruth drew her out of grief; 12 years later, Nina would reciprocate when Ruth’s beloved husband died. They shared not only a love of opera, but also of shopping, as they instinctively understood that clothes were armor for women who wanted to be taken seriously in a workplace dominated by men. During Ruth’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Nina’s house.

Dinners with Ruth also weaves together compelling, personal portraits of other fascinating women and men from Nina’s life, including her cherished NPR colleagues Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer; her beloved husbands; her friendships with multiple Supreme Court Justices, including Lewis Powell, William Brennan, and Antonin Scalia, and Nina’s own family—her father, the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg, and her “best friends”, her sisters. Inspiring and revelatory, Dinners with Ruth is a moving story of the joy and true meaning of friendship.

©2022 Nina Totenberg. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved

What listeners say about Dinners with Ruth

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It should be "Dinners with Cokie"

Very disappointing. I felt like she used RBG's name in the title to garner an audience. The book is really her own autobiography. The book should have been titled "Dinners with Cokie" because it's who she talks about most. Ruth is always a background figure, even when Nina is with her. I found the book uninspiring even in the sharing about friendship. It seemed to be a tribute to herself as a high power professional woman & her friends who were the same. RBG was & will forever be an inspiration to many of us, the book fell flat in sharing a tribute of friendship. "Dinners with Ruth" it was not.

9 people found this helpful

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Not quite what I expected

The title led me to think the book centered more specifically about RBG- found it to be more autobiographical about Nina and her life experiences w family and other notable friends. I was NOT disappointed in the least, however, as it reinforced my personal experiences and the importance friendships play in our life’s journey- from falling in love with life partners, to birth families and professional relationships and the passing of those we hold dear. Nina’s candor and humor confirm feelings I had from years of listening to inspirational reporting and perspective from not only RBG, but Nina and her peers who championed equality. Respect Nina and thank her for such an uplifting piece for women and self-actualized men in a time of disappearing rights and human decency.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful book

What a delight to enter into the private world and friendship of Justice Ginsberg and Nina Totenberg, narrated by the author. Impressive, poignant, revealing, heartwarming, and engrossing—I looked forward to listening to this story every day for the past 4 days.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfectly portrayed

This Book was all I had hoped it would be. She was larger than life I public as well as her private life.

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Wonderful stories!

This book tells so many wonderful stories about people I have come to respect, especially RBG. What amazing women : Ruth, Cokie, Linda, and Nina herself, who I knew little about until hearing this. Heartwarming.

2 people found this helpful

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friendship

loved it!!!!!! so touching and real! Nina shows that friendships are very important and truly add to comfort life's ups and downs.

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Wonderful listening to Nina reading!

Enjoyed. Very intetesting and engaging - she is a great storyteller ! I learned new things about RBG .

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Dinners with Ruth

A lovely book about an unlikely friendship. I love Totenberg’s voice as well. Thank you

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Dinners with Ruth fascinating and educational Anita

Nina Tottenberg writes a fascinating story filled with wonderful personal experiences and a little history of our Supreme Court along with RBG. Can’t stop listening to it. You will love it.

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in the room where it happened

Nina Totenberg beautifully recounts the story behind the RBG we all thought we knew. I luved it