Book excerpt: “Dinners with Ruth” by Nina Totenberg

In her new ebook “Dinners with Ruth” (printed September 13 by Simon & Schuster, a division of Paramount Global, which owns CBS), NPR authorized affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg writes of the facility of friendship, together with the very particular ties she shaped with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Read an excerpt under, and do not miss Nancy Cordes’ interview with Nina Totenberg on “CBS Sunday Morning” September 4!


Simon & Schuster

Friends play a novel position in our lives. We all, to various levels, have household, and for some, like me, it’s a supply of affection, closeness, and fantastic assist, however it’s not that manner for everybody. Beyond our organic, relational, or marital households, every of us is given the chance to determine a household of pals. Friends can generally do issues for you that your individual household can not. They would possibly even do some issues higher or see issues extra clearly.  

My appreciation of friendship has deepened through the years; life with its twists and turns has taught me a lot in regards to the depth of friendship and its worth. I, who began out fiercely impartial and doggedly centered, have discovered myself at numerous factors humbled by occasions and challenges past my management. Repeatedly, the outstretched hand that has raised me up is friendship—and I’m additionally deeply lucky to depend my sisters amongst my closest of pals.

Friends are those who rush to you when hassle strikes, they’re those who stand loyally by your facet, they’re those who discover the useful phrases and carry out the acts of kindness that blunt the very tough spots in our world. Friendship can be reciprocal. Reach out to your individual pals when they’re in want, and you may be rewarded many occasions over.

In my profession, I’ve been blessed to cowl fascinating newsmakers and important points, and to interrupt some massive tales, however what resonates now are the extraordinary folks I’ve come to know, and whom I’ve been capable of name my pals. My life story is interwoven with them and has been infinitely richer for them. These pages are the tales of pals, my love letter to my pals, and finally the story of friendship with one very particular girl. For practically fifty years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I constructed our friendship. As with my different friendships, what we constructed made our lives immeasurably richer.

On the floor, Ruth and I have been a basic instance of “opposites appeal to.” The superficial similarities of our backgrounds—we’re each the youngsters of immigrants and each of us got here from Jewish houses—have been outnumbered by the variations. She graduated tied for first in her regulation college class, I by no means accomplished faculty. She married and have become a mom in her early twenties, I used to be single till my mid-thirties, and made the selection to forgo youngsters, partly as a result of I knew I may by no means be a superwoman like Ruth and others who by some means have been capable of do all the pieces nicely. Ruth was my most well-known good friend, however as you’ll learn in these pages, for ladies of my period who fought to get within the door, by no means thoughts break the glass ceiling, friendship was one thing particular. In a really actual sense, it turned the Old Girl Network. Indeed, dig deeper and one may even discover some very robust underlying themes in my friendship with Ruth. Our paths weren’t essentially destined to cross—and the way they finally did requires a little bit of setup and clarification—however as soon as we discovered one another, within the 12 months 1971, we have been destined to develop into pals.

From “Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships” by Nina Totenberg. Copyright © 2022 by Nina Totenberg. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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