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Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan Rauch...Opinion Columnist for National Journal

All about the latest book by Jonathan Rauch

GAY MARRIAGE: Why It is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America (2004, Times Books-Henry Holt & Company)

A leading Washington journalist argues that gay marriage is the best way to preserve and protect society’s most essential institution.

Jonathan Rauch
Photo © Rick Bloom


Two people meet. They fall in love, they get married, they become upstanding members of their community, they care for each other when one falls ill, they grow old together. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing, says Jonathan Rauch, and that's the point. If the two people are of the same sex, why should this chain of events be any less desirable? Marriage is more than a bond between individuals because it also links them to the community at large. Excluding some people from the prospect of marriage is not only harmful to them, it is also corrosive of the institution itself.

The controversy over gay marriage has reached a critical point in American political life as liberals and conservatives have begun to mobilize around this issue, pro and con. But no one has come forward with a compelling, comprehensive, and readable case for gay marriage-until now.

Jonathan Rauch, one of our most original and incisive social commentators, has written a clear and honest manifesto explaining why gay marriage is important-even crucial-to the health of marriage in America today, grounding his argument in common-sense, mainstream values and confronting the social conservatives on their own turf. Gay marriage, he shows, is a "win-win-win" for strengthening the bonds that tie us together and for remaining true to our national heritage of fairness and humaneness toward all.

About the Author:
Jonathan Rauch is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and a senior writer and columnist for National Journal. He is the author of several books on public policy, culture, and economics. He is also a writer in residence at the Brookings Institution.
A full biography is below.


National Journal, Contributing Editor, 1991-1995. Opinion Columnist, 1997 to present.

The Brookings Institution, Writer in Residence, 1996, 2001 to present.

The Economist (London), Visiting Writer, 1995. Articles on many subjects, including American politics and policy, animal rights, gay marriage, the European Parliament, height discrimination, more.

Fellow, Japan Society Leadership Program, April-September 1990. Traveling fellowship based in Tokyo. Interviews with Japanese policy-makers, academics, ordinary people; speeches, travel throughout Japan.

Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., September 1989 to March, 1990.
At work on Kindly Inquisitors (see below).

National Journal, October 1984 to September 1989. Economic Policy Correspondent from May, 1987.
Articles on domestic and foreign economic issues and institutions, and on politics, government and agriculture. Budget and Fiscal Policy Correspondent, October, 1984 to May, 1987.

Winston-Salem Journal, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, January, 1983 to August, 1984. Education Reporter. Also, music and theater reviews and general assignment (tornado, fire, elections, etc.).

GAY MARRIAGE: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America (2004),
Times Books (Henry Holt & Company).

GOVERNMENT’S END: Why Washington Stopped Working (1999), Public Affairs Books.

DEMOSCLEROSIS: The Silent Killer of American Government (1994), Times Books (Random House). Paperback, with new afterword, August, 1995.

KINDLY INQUISITORS: The New Attacks on Free Thought (1993), University of Chicago Press.
Front page, The New York Times Book Review, April 11, 1993.
Excerpted as cover story, Reason Magazine, April, 1993. Also published in Japanese. Paperback, 1995.

THE OUTNATION: A Search for the Soul of Japan (1992), Harvard Business School Press
(Foreword by James Fallows). Excerpted as cover story, L.A. Times Magazine, March 8, 1992. Japanese edition from Keizaikai (1992). German edition, Klett-Cotta (1993). Published in Chinese. Paperback from Little, Brown (1993).

Articles in myriad periodicals plus television appearances on all major networks.

1996 Premio Napoli alla Stampa Estera (Naples Prize, Foreign Press), for coverage in The Economist of the European Parliament.

B.A. in History, Yale University, 1982, Summa Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa, 1982.

1. Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good For America (available for speeches and debates)
2. New Attacks On Free Thought
3. Government In 2020: Bankrupt Or Reborn?

Speaker Endorsements

October 19, 2009

“Hi Jon,
What a wonderful program! My phone was ringing when I got home and it continued this morning...everyone thought you were great! Thank you so much for honoring us once again with your insights, predictions and most of all premiering your power point skills! I look forward (as I'm sure our audience does as well) to having a return visit from you in a few years.
Thank you again and travel safely home."

Wendy Levenfeld, Executive Director, Sinai Forum (IN)

November 5, 2009

“Re: Jon Rauch vs. David Blankenhorn debate,
The debate went well. We were hoping for a slightly larger crowd, however we had twice the number of students we have in the class in attendance. It was a pleasure to not only meet Jonathan, but also to work with him. Thank you for your assistance."

Sincerely, Kimberly
Kimberly R. Bourroughs, Esq., Assistant to Leah Ward Sears, former Chief Justice, the Supreme Court of Georgia

November 6, 2009

Dear Jonathan,
One of the joys of teaching here at Georgia this fall has been the pleasure I’ve gotten from working with so many fine people (like you), and then getting to dispense the thank you’s at the completion of a job well done. Thank you, Jonathan, once again, for a magnificent job. You were wonderful!!

Always, Leah Sears
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, Visiting Professor, University of Georgia

November 17, 2009

Jon's visit was wonderful from first to last. He gave a funny, brilliantly clear, sobering talk at the Sinai Forum on the future of the American economy. But my expectations were really quite overwhelmed by his time on campus, when he displayed a startling, natural ability to connect with students. His interest in them was clearly real, and students responded to it strongly.

The lunchtime forum discussion went extremely well, and was very well attended. But I think the high point came earlier in the day, when we got into a discussion about gays in the military with a class of mine that has three veterans who turned out to have starkly different views and experiences with respect to that issue.

Everyone who came in contact with him on campus was deeply impressed, and I think our chancellor was especially pleased. I know my department chair was ecstatic, and that's always a good thing. So that's the overview reaction. Can we do this again sometime? I very much hope so!

Hope all is well with you, Paul
Paul Hecht, Ph.D, Associate Professor of English, Purdue University North Central


...You should know that we were very pleased with everything to do with Jonathan Rauch's presentation at DU. Mr. Rauch receives our highest ratings and we would recommend him highly!

Mandy Anderson, Center for Public Policy & Contemporary Issues, University of Denver

Jon was a fantastic speaker. Everyone we spoke to after the conference raved about it. His talk was enlightening, well-presented and the only word for it is “outstanding”.

Art Woolf, President, Northern Economic Consulting, Inc. (VT)

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