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Monthly libertarian magazine published by the Reason Foundation, launched in May 1968
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  • Reason

    Reason is an American libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. The magazine has a circulation of around 50,000 and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune. Reason was founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander, a student at Boston University, as a more-or-less monthly mimeographed publication. In 1970 it was purchased by Robert W. Poole Jr., Manuel S. Klausner and Tibor R. Machan, who set it on a more regular publishing schedule. As the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets", it covers politics, culture and ideas with a mix of news, analysis, commentary and reviews.

    Staff and Associates

    Brian DohertySenior Editor
    Nick GillespieEditor-in-Chief (2000-2008)
    Virginia PostrelEditor (1989-2000), Editor-at-large (2000-2001)
    Jacob SullumSenior Editor
    Matt WelchEditor in Chief (2008-2016)

    Websites - Reason, by Reason Foundation (publisher)
    Hosts online-only and print magazine articles (including archives), videos and various podcasts, as well as "The Volokh Conspiracy"

    Web Pages

    The Advocates for Self Government Nick Gillespie, by Bill Winter
    Libertarian celebrity page at Advocates for Self-Government; includes picture, biographical summary and quote
    Gillespie is ... the former editor-in-chief of Reason magazine (2000-08), arguably the most respected and influential publication in the libertarian movement. The magazine, which has a circulation of about 60,000, covers politics, civil liberties and social issues from a libertarian perspective. [It] was named one of America's "50 Best Magazines" by The Chicago Tribune and was a finalist for an Utne Independent Press award for political coverage ... Cynthia Cotts ... said Gillespie added "sex, drugs and rock and roll" to a magazine that was considered intellectually respectable but a bit bland.
    Related Topic: Nick Gillespie
    Drew Carey - The Advocates for Self-Government
    Libertarian celebrity page at Advocates for Self-Government; includes picture, biographical essay and quote
    [The Drew Carey Show] ... starred Carey as a put-upon office worker in Cleveland, and combined standard blue-collar sitcom gags with innovative song-and-dance sequences. (And an occasional libertarian plug: On a January 15, 1997 show, Carey's character wore a Reason tee-shirt.) ... [I]n 2004, Carey penned an introduction to a Reason retrospective book, Choice: The Best of Reason. "We need a magazine like yours to help fight the stupid drug laws, the stupid immigration laws, and stupid big government in general," he wrote. "'Free Minds and Free Markets!' Right on, my man. Freedom!"
    Related Topic: Free Market
    Nick Gillespie -
    Author page at; includes picture, profile and links to recent articles
    Gillespie ... was Reason magazine's editor in chief from 2000 to 2008. Under his direction, Reason won the 2005 Western Publications Association "Maggie" Award for Best Political Magazine ... In 2004, Gillespie edited the book Choice: The Best of Reason, an anthology of the magazine's best articles. The Washington Post featured Gillespie's tenure at Reason magazine, asking, "Which monthly magazine editor argues that the spread of pornography is a victory for free expression? ... The answer is Nick Gillespie ... who ... is injecting [Reason] with a pop-culture sensibility."
    Related Topic: Nick Gillespie


    40 Years of Free Minds and Free Markets, by Brian Doherty, Reason, Dec 2008
    The history of Reason magazine as related to Doherty by Reason Enterprises founders, editors and other staffers
    When reason began in 1968, it was just one of many mimeographed zines then pushing a mostly obscure political and philosophical vision known as libertarianism ... Most of the content was written by the founding editor, Boston University undergrad Lanny Friedlander ... The champion of "Free Minds and Free Markets" exists as both a paper magazine ... and a vibrant presence in ... the Internet ... reason has grown from one student's wild dream to a bicoastal foundation that advances liberty through public policy research and journalism available across a rich variety of platforms.
    Bob Poole Remembers Tibor Machan, A Fellow Founding Co-Editor of Reason Magazine, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., 25 Mar 2016
    Memorial essay, highlighting Machan's life, his involvement with Reason and the Reason Foundation, and some of his writings
    Reason magazine founder Lanny Friedlander, for whom I had just written an article in late 1969, told me to look up Tibor (who was also writing for Reason) when he learned I was about to move to Santa Barbara to take up a new job. Tibor and I became friends, and ... brainstormed the idea of buying Reason from Lanny and putting it on a businesslike basis ... Tibor had brought young libertarian attorney Manny Klausner into our fledgling partnership, Reason Enterprises, and Manny worked out all the legal details. From January 1971 through June 1978 we published every month, like clockwork ...
    Libertarianism and the Great Divide, by Justin Raimondo, 16 Mar 2007
    Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism (2007) concluding with remarks about a Cato Unbound debate on the book
    [O]ver at Reason, the pro-war "libertarian" crowd was getting busy: Ron Bailey advanced a version of "libertarian" neo-Trotskyism centered around the concept that libertarianism in one country is doomed to fail ... Reason sponsored a "debate." It's interesting what the staff ... considers debatable, given the broadest possible definition of the libertarian paradigm: mass murder in Iraq, yes: legalizing methamphetamine–certainly not! ... Reason is "ecumenical" on the core issue of war and peace, and decidedly sectarian when it comes to ... more subjective social issues, such as gay marriage ...
    Meeting Murray Rothbard On the Road to Libertarianism, by Jeff Riggenbach, 4 Jan 2003
    Riggenbach recounts his path from advocate of Ayn Rand, to reading Robert LeFevre to reading and eventually meeting Murray Rothbard; revised version printed in Walter Block's I Chose Liberty (2010), chapter 61
    Since 1972, ... I had been writing for Objectivist and libertarian publications that had a little further reach than ... the University of Houston campus. My byline was appearing in ... Book News ..., ... Books for Libertarians ..., and Reason (then in Santa Barbara, where its editors–Bob Poole, Lynn Kinsky, Tibor Machan, and Manny Klausner–had only a short time before been University of California graduate students). I continued to write regularly for Reason throughout the '70s and '80s. From 1984 to 1990, I was listed on the magazine's masthead as a contributing editor.
    Reason 35th Anniversary Banquet Remarks, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., 5 Nov 2003
    Remembrances of 35 years, focusing on Reason magazine and the Reason Foundation, but also contrasting the late 1960s to the early 2000s in terms of both technology and government intervention
    In late 1970 ... Reason had all of 400 subscribers, and after a couple of years, we could afford one paid employee ... But the magazine obviously struck a chord, because by 1978 we'd built it up to 10,000 subscribers ... I discovered the private, for-profit fire department in Scottsdale, Arizona. After visiting it twice, I wrote a cover story for Reason, which became the basis for a "60 Minutes" story in 1978. That was Reason's first national media coverage ... The magazine grew steadily as a Foundation project ... It reached a new high of 60,000 subscribers a couple of years ago.
    Tibor Machan, a Founding Editor of Reason, RIP, by Nick Gillespie, 25 Mar 2016
    Memorial tribute, describing Machan's involvement with Reason through the years, includes two videos, one of Machan discussing Ayn Rand and another in a panel with his co-founders and a former editor
    Reason magazine was started by Lanny Friedlander ... in Boston in 1968 as a publication dedicated to providing a libertarian alternative to the fractious and often-violent left-right political discourse of the late 1960s. Unable to produce the magazine on a regular basis, Friedlander sold it to Bob [Poole], Manny [Klausner], and Tibor [Machan], who moved the production to Santa Barbara, California, where Bob worked in the aerospace industry and Tibor was completing his Ph.D. at University of California. In 1978, the three created Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.
    Related Topic: Tibor Machan


    35 Heroes of Freedom, Reason, Dec 2003
    "Eclectic, irreverent" list of individuals "who have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action", as chosen by Reason editors (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and "The Yuppie")
    "Things are a lot groovier now," declared former reason Editor-in-Chief Robert W. Poole back in 1988, on the occasion of reason's 20th anniversary ... What follows is reason's tribute to some of the people who have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action. The one criterion: Honorees needed to have been alive at some point during reason's run, which began in May 1968. The list is by design eclectic, irreverent, and woefully incomplete, but it limns the many ways in which the world has only gotten groovier and groovier during the last 35 years.


    Interview with Robert Poole, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context, May 1999
    Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
    Poole: ... I began reading and then writing for the fledgling Reason magazine ... I especially enjoyed seeing [my first article] published as the cover story, in the first issue that switched from mimeograph(!) to offset printing ... At the end of 1970, Reason was about to go under ... So several friends and I ... created a hobby business to take it over. We ran it mostly out of my house for nearly eight years ... By 1978 ... I went to my partners and told them we either had to put the magazine on a full-time, paying basis or shut it down. Fortunately, we decided to do the latter ...

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Reason (magazine)" as of 23 Nov 2022, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.