Sasha Issenberg

  • Fall 2013

Sasha Issenberg is a journalist and author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, published in 2012 by Crown, an imprint of Random House. The book, which Politico called “Moneyball for politics,” explores the analytical revolution — involving randomized-control trials borrowed from the academic social sciences and statistical-model and data-mining techniques inspired by corporate marketing — that have upended the practice of 21st-century electioneering. After reading The Victory Lab, Richard Ben Cramer, author of What It Takes, called Issenberg “our most acute observer of the modern political campaign.”                                                        

Issenberg reported from 38 states and six countries while covering the 2008 election as a national political reporter in the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe.  In 2012, as a columnist for Slate, he adopted a narrower, more purposeful brief: focussing on the innovative mechanics — particularly the use of data, experiments and advanced analytics — that were transforming the way candidates sought the presidency but were largely ignored by other media coverage.                                   

His first book, The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy, was published by Gotham (an imprint of Penguin) in 2007 and described by journalist Franklin Foer as “an exquisite specimen of culinary anthropology — and literary journalism and political economy.”  Issenberg is now working on a political, legal, and social history of the gay-marriage debate, tentatively titled The Engagement: A Quarter-Century of Defending, Defining and Expanding Marriage in America and to be published in 2015 by Crown.                           
Issenberg began his career in journalism as an intern at George and remained with the magazine throughout its five-and-a-half year life, ending as a contributing editor.  He was a staff writer at Philadelphia magazine, and his work has also appeared in New York, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Monthly, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Inc., Boston, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and MIT’s Technology Review. He is now the Washington correspondent for Monocle, where he previously served as Americas editor and has covered global politics, business, diplomacy, and culture.                                                                             

Issenberg has a B.A. from Swarthmore College, where he majored in history.