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Download Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality Audiobook, by Jo Becker Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jo Becker Narrator: Jamie Leonhart Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2014 ISBN: 9780698149663
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Forcing the Spring begins on Election Night 2008, when a controversial California ballot initiative called Proposition 8—which removed the right of gay men and women to marry—passed alongside Barack Obama’s stunning victory.

Forcing the Spring details how a small but determined group of political and media insiders took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court. Gay activists and Hollywood liberals joined together to enlist attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies—the opposing counsels on the Supreme Court’s infamous Bush v. Gore ruling—to bring a controversial legal case against Proposition 8 before the highest court in the land. Forcing the Spring is the extraordinary ringside account of this unprecedented effort to shift public opinion and reengineer the political certainties of an era.

Based on original interviews and in-depth reportage, Forcing the Spring is the work of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jo Becker, after she was exclusively embedded with the plaintiffs’ legal team for more than four years, attending every day of the trial and every appellate argument. Offering behind-the-scenes coverage on the Obama administration’s role—with access to all the key players in the Justice Department and the White House—Becker reveals the true story of how the president came around to embrace marriage equality and play a surprisingly critical role in the Supreme Court battle. Following the lawyers in the chambers, the political operatives in the strategy rooms, and the heroic couples at the center of this historic lawsuit, Becker weaves together the many threads of the campaign into an inspirational and eye-opening narrative.

An exclusive account of a national civil rights struggle, Forcing the Spring carries readers from the first efforts to stop Proposition 8 and the campaign to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act all the way to the final suspenseful moments in the Supreme Court. A multi-angled work of journalism that examines all sides and all participants of this groundbreaking movement, Forcing the Spring is the definitive account of the fight to win the rights of marriage and full citizenship for all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A stunning account…Drawing on five years of unlimited access to Olson and Boies’ team, [Becker] has crafted an engrossing narrative filled with details gleaned from fraught backroom conversations and private emails. Though some critics allege that Becker highlights certain key figures at the expense of others, the history she re-creates using material as dry as court records and judges’ written opinions is as taut and suspenseful as a novel. She also zeroes in on human moments. Forcing the Spring stands as not just the definitive account of the battle for same-sex marriage rights but a thrilling and compassionate one, too. Grade: A.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Becker’s account of the hearings and her analysis of the complicated legal theories involved in the long appeals process are excellent. Her writing about the four plaintiffs in the case—the true emotional heroes of this book—is particularly affecting…The real story it tells is how seemingly small moments, occurring by happenstance, when combined with boldness and imagination, can help to change the course of history.”

    New Yorker

  • “A stunningly intimate story…Maybe because she’s such a versatile reporter, Becker saw the big picture. The fight for marriage equality did not end in a total victory on the Supreme Court steps but triumphed in a higher court, the court of public opinion. It may not be the story she set out to tell, but it’s a great one nonetheless.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A riveting legal drama, a snapshot in time, when the gay rights movement altered course and public opinion shifted with the speed of a bullet train...Becker’s most remarkable accomplishment is to weave a spellbinder of a tale that, despite a finale reported around the world, manages to keep readers gripped until the very end.”

    Washington Post

  • “A thorough, perceptive read…Becker navigates the vast amount of legal history, backroom conversations, media wrangling, and personal stories with an ease that makes what could otherwise be a demanding or partisan story into learned political journalism… The book stands testament to good political writing and a wealth of information made alive through prose.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Becker had unprecedented access for five years to the astonishing legal drama that witnessed a massive shift in public and political opinions about gay rights and marriage equality…Becker’s chronicle of a legal battle reveals deeper changes in the cultural and political landscape of a nation grappling with old prejudices and changing public opinion that continue to resonate.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] gripping narrative…[Becker’s] momentum is resolutely forward, her writing so brisk and urgent that even though we know the outcome, the tension in the courtroom scenes and the intervals of waiting for decisions remains taut, even nerve-wracking. Becker’s access gives us insights into other aspects of the story, as well…First-rate reporting informs this thrilling narrative of hope.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Jaime Leonhart’s strong, slightly nasal narration captures the story of a groundbreaking legal case…Her focus is appropriate, given the shift in public opinion that accompanied and shaped the battle in the courts. Leonhart’s pleasant alto is clear and easy to follow.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, April 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
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About the Author

Jo Becker is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, where she has broken stories on everything from the United States’ lethal program to kill suspected terrorists to the British phone-hacking affair and the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal. She has taught investigative journalism as a visiting professor at Princeton University, and her work has earned her numerous awards. A Washington Post series she coauthored on Vice President Dick Cheney won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

About the Narrator

Jamie Leonhart is a voice actor for television and radio, whose talents have been utilized by a number of businesses and networks, including Kohl’s, HomeGoods, Lifetime, and Oxygen. After graduating with a degree in English literature from Barnard College, she performed as a soloist from the stages of great New York Institutions, including Avery Fisher Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. She lives in New York City.