The Engagement:
America's Quarter-Century
Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage

By Sasha Issenberg

The riveting story of the battles over gay marriage
in the United States – 
the most important
breakthrough of the new millennium.
Coming This September
Buy The Engagement here to get your book signed, attend an exclusive book-launch party, along with other gifts!

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal throughout the United States. But the road to victory was much longer than many know. In this seminal work, Sasha Issenberg takes us back to Hawaii in the 1990s, when that state's courts first started grappling with the question, through the emergence of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 that raised marriage to a national issue, to the first legal same-sex weddings in Massachusetts, to the epic face-off over California’s Proposition 8, and finally to the landmark Supreme Court decisions of Windsor and Obergefell.

The meticulously reported narrative follows the coast-to-coast conflict through courtrooms and war rooms, bedrooms and boardrooms, to shed light on every aspect of a political and legal struggle that divided Americans like few other issues have.  Following a cast of characters who courageously sought their own right to wed, those who fought to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, and those who changed their minds about it, The Engagement is sure to become the definitive book on the modern culture wars.


Sasha Issenberg is the author of three previous books, on topics ranging from the global sushi business to medical tourism and the science of political campaigns. He covered the 2008 election as a national political reporter in the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe, the 2012 election for Slate, the 2016 election for Bloomberg Politics and Businessweek, and 2020 for The Recount. He is the Washington correspondent for Monocle, and has also written for New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and George, where he served as a contributing editor. He teaches in the political science department at UCLA.

Photo By Carlos Chavarría


The Sushi Economy
Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy

The Victory Lab

The Secret Science of
Winning Campaigns


The Astonishing New World
of Medical Tourism


"In this deeply engaging and comprehensively reported work, Sasha Issenberg traces the story of marriage equality from its beginnings as a nearly impossible dream to its current status as an essential right. This engrossing account of social change, political will and human rights arrives at a moment of great urgency. Issenberg’s narrative will inform the efforts of anyone who strives for a more equal country, and touch the heart of anyone who has seen their rights come up for debate."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg,

author of Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future



To schedule an event with Sasha, please contact Mary Krause:


For publicity inquiries, contact Jessica Purcell at Pantheon Books:

Write Sasha with notes, tips, leads and ideas at:

© 2020 by EmmKay Media

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon