Author, columnist, former editor of Reason magazine
Virginia Postrel

Virginia Inman Postrel (born 14 January 1960) is an American political and cultural writer of broadly libertarian, or classical liberal, views.

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Virginia Postrel

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About Virginia Postrel


Reason, Editor (1989-2000), Editor-at-large (2000-2001)

Web Pages

Virginia Postrel - Libertarian
Advocates for Self-Government


Book Review: The Future and Its Enemies, by Richard Ebeling, Future of Freedom, May 1999
Review of The Future and Its Enemies (1998) by Virginia Postrel
"That criticism has now been met by Virginia Postrel in her recent book, The Future and Its Enemies. Though she does not say so in so many words, her goal clearly is to take Hayek's defense of a free social order without central government design and show how the spontaneous order of society has improved the human condition and how it can be hindered only by those who desire to consciously direct the evolution of technology, innovation, and discovery. ... Postrel demonstrates the nature of this dynamic process with one detailed historical example after another."
Related Topics: Friedrich Hayek, Learning, Society


Adam Smith Needs a Paper Clip, Reason, 1 May 2017
A short history of pins from Adam Smith in the late 18th century to the invention of the paper clip at the turn of the 19th century
"Adam Smith famously used a pin factory to illustrate the advantages of specialization, choosing this 'very trifling manufacture' because the different tasks were performed under one roof ... By improving workers' skills and encouraging purpose-built machinery, the division of labor leads to miraculous productivity gains. Even a small and ill-equipped manufacturer, Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, could boost each worker's output from a handful of pins a day to nearly 5,000."
Related Topic: Adam Smith
Friedrich the Great, The Boston Globe, 11 Jan 2004
Biographical essay, including Hayek's insights on cognitive science and his influence on postmodernism
"His 1944 bestseller The Road to Serfdom helped catalyze the free-market political movement in the United States and continues to sell thousands of copies a year. ... Citing the 'proof of time,' Encyclopedia Britannica recently commissioned Caldwell to replace its formulaic 250-word Hayek profile with a nuanced discussion more than 10 times as long. Harvard has added him to the syllabus of Social Studies 10, its rigorous introductory social theory course."
Related Topic: Friedrich Hayek

Interviews (interviewer)

Interview with the Vamp: Why Camille Paglia hates affirmative action, defends Rush Limbaugh, and respects Ayn Rand, by Camille Paglia, Virginia Postrel, Reason, Aug 1995
"... I support legalization of drugs even while I can see the damage that was wrought to my generation through drugs ... I believe that government should confine itself to the public realm and that it should be as stripped down as possible ... government has no right to intrude into the private realm of consensual behavior."
The Peters Principles: The management guru as playground director, provacateur, and passionate defender of open societies., by Tom Peters, Virginia Postrel, Reason, Oct 1997
"I sincerely believe that Hayek should have added free speech to his list of the big three, along with contracts, property rights, and so on. ... I just find it so ironic that the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich is essentially a captive of a very statist view of moral controls, which is antithetical to the freedoms I believe in."

Books Authored

The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress, 1998

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Virginia Postrel" as of 14 Apr 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.