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Dinners With Ruth Book Club Questions and Discussion Guide

Welcome to the Dinners With Ruth book club questions and discussion guide. Continue reading as we delve into the extraordinary memoir penned by celebrated NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg. In “Dinners with Ruth,” Totenberg shares her intimate, nearly fifty-year friendship with the iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This blog post not only brings you insightful discussion questions for your book club meeting but also provides a glimpse into the powerful narrative that explores friendship, professional challenges, and the remarkable impact these two women had on shaping legal and societal landscapes.

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Dinners with Ruth – Synopsis:

“Dinners with Ruth” chronicles the friendship between Nina Totenberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, offering a unique perspective on their personal and professional lives. Set against the backdrop of legal battles and societal transformations, the memoir provides a touching account of how these two women supported each other through the joys, struggles, and complexities of their respective careers.

Some wonderful quotes from the book

Dinners With Ruth Book Club Questions

Dinners With Ruth book club discussion questions

Dinners With Ruth Book Club Questions and Discussion Guide
Dinners With Ruth Book Club Questions

The Genesis of Friendship: A Curious Phone Call

1. How did the initial phone call between Nina Totenberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg shape the trajectory of their friendship?

2. In what ways did Ruth’s legal pursuits align with the broader feminist movements of the time?

Friendship Amidst Professional Challenges

3. How did Nina Totenberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg navigate professional obstacles, particularly in male-dominated fields?

4. Discuss the role of friendship in breaking down legal and professional barriers for women.

Friendship Through Joy and Sorrow: Personal Bonds

5. Explore the impact of personal joys and hardships on the friendship between Totenberg and Ginsburg.

6. How did Ruth support Nina during the illness and eventual death of her first husband, and vice versa?

Shared Passions: Opera, Shopping, and Small Dinners

7. Examine the significance of shared interests like opera and shopping in the lives of Totenberg and Ginsburg.

8. How did these shared passions become symbols of solidarity in the workplace?

Beyond Ruth: Portraits of Other Fascinating Figures

9. Discuss the personal portraits of other notable individuals presented by Totenberg. How did they contribute to the overarching narrative?

10. What role did other Supreme Court Justices and NPR colleagues play in the lives of Totenberg and Ginsburg?

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Friendship Tested: Supporting Each Other Through Illness

11. Explore how Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advice to Nina Totenberg during her husband’s illness became a crucial element in their friendship.

12. In what ways did Totenberg reciprocate during Ginsburg’s health challenges, particularly her battles with colon and pancreatic cancer?

Feminism and the Courts: Totenberg and Ginsburg’s Impact

13. Discuss the parallel journeys of Totenberg and Ginsburg in the realms of journalism and the judiciary.

14. How did their roles intersect in breaking significant stories, such as the Anita Hill scandal, and shaping discussions around gender equality?

Legacy and Reflection: Ginsburg’s Choices

15. Explore Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s choices regarding retirement and her perspective on the evolving Supreme Court.

16. How did Ginsburg’s wish to allow the first female president to nominate her successor play out in the context of contemporary political developments?

Unveiling Personal Struggles: Ginsburg’s Frailties

17. Examine the instances where Totenberg reveals Ginsburg’s vulnerabilities, and discuss how it adds a human dimension to the iconic figure.

18. How did Ginsburg’s resilience shine through despite chronic pain and health challenges?

Totenberg’s Career: A Showcase of Women Helping Women

19. Reflect on Nina Totenberg’s career journey and its representation as a showcase of women supporting each other.

20. Discuss instances where Totenberg played a pivotal role in uplifting fellow women in journalism.

Final words:

“Dinners with Ruth” is a heartfelt exploration of friendship, resilience, and the impact of two extraordinary women on the legal and journalistic landscapes. As we engage in these discussion questions, let’s delve into the layers of this memoir and unravel the power of friendships that transcend time and professional challenges.

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