Reason (magazine)

Reason is an American libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation.[1] The magazine has a circulation of around 50,000[2] and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.[3][4]

September 2019 issue of Reason
Editor-in-ChiefKatherine Mangu-Ward
CategoriesGeneral interest, public policy
Frequency11 issues annually
First issueMay 1968 (1968-05)
CompanyReason Foundation
CountryUnited States


Reason was founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander (1947–2011),[2][5] a student at Boston University,[6] 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.[5][6] 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.

During the 1970s and 80s, the magazine's contributors included Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, Thomas Szasz, and Thomas Sowell.[7] In 1978, Poole, Klausner, and Machan created the associated Reason Foundation, in order to expand the magazine's ideas into policy research.[5] Marty Zupan joined Reason in 1975, and served through the 1980s as managing editor and editor-in-chief, leaving in 1989.[8]

Virginia Postrel was editor-in-chief of the magazine from July 1989 to January 2000. She founded the magazine's website in 1995.[9] Nick Gillespie became editor-in-chief in 2000.[10] Erik Spiekermann, the designer of the Meta typeface, headed a redesign of Reason in 2001, aiming for a look that is "cleaner, more modern, making use of the Meta typeface throughout".

In June 2004, subscribers to Reason magazine received a personalized issue that had their name, and a satellite photo of their home or workplace on the cover. The concept was to demonstrate the power of public databases, as well as the customized printing capabilities of Xeikon's printer, according to then editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie.[11] The move was seen by David Carr of The New York Times as "the ultimate in customized publishing", as well as "a remarkable demonstration of the growing number of ways databases can be harnessed."[11]

In 2008, Reason's website[12] was named a Webby Award Honoree in the magazine category.[13] That same year, Matt Welch became magazine's editor-in-chief, with Gillespie becoming editor-in-chief of[10] In 2011, Gillespie and Welch published The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America.[14]

Katherine Mangu-Ward became the magazine's editor-in-chief in June 2016, with Welch moving to an editor-at-large position.[15] Other Reason editors include Jacob Sullum, Jesse Walker, Brian Doherty, Peter Suderman, and Damon Root; contributors include Ronald Bailey, Greg Beato, Cathy Young, and cartoonist Peter Bagge.

In 2017, Reason magazine began hosting The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog written by libertarian and conservative law professors and run by Eugene Volokh.

Hit & Run

Hit & Run is Reason's group blog. It is maintained and written by the staff of the magazine. It was started in 2002. Then-editor Gillespie and then-Web editor Tim Cavanaugh, both veterans of, modeled the blog in some ways after that website. They brought along several other writers to contribute, fostered a style in the blog matching that former website's sarcastic attitude, and even the name "Hit & Run" was taken from what had been a weekly news roundup column on Reason editors referred to this co-opting of the former website as the "Suck-ification of Reason".[16]

In 2005, Hit & Run was named as one of the best political blogs by Playboy.[17]

Reason TV

Reason magazine produces videos on at the YouTube channel ReasonTV.[18] These include produces short-form documentaries and video editorials, which Nick Gillespie oversees as editor-in-chief. The site produced a series of videos called The Drew Carey Project hosted by comedian Drew Carey.[19] Reason TV partnered with Carey again in 2009 to produce "Reason Saves Cleveland," in which Carey suggested free market solutions to his hometown's problems.[20]

Since 2010, comedian Remy Munasifi has partnered with ReasonTV to produce parody videos.[21] Since 2017 John Stossel has produced more than 100 commentary segments published on the ReasonTV YouTube channel.

See also


  1. "Reason Foundation – About". May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  2. Fox, Margalit (May 7, 2011). "Lanny Friedlander, Founder of Reason Magazine, Dies at 63". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  3. "The 50 Best Magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 12, 2003.
  4. "50 best magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2004.
  5. Burns, Jennifer (2009). Goddess of the market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-19-532487-7.
  6. Gillespie, Nick (April 24, 2011). "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  7. Williams, Walter E. (June 18, 1983). "Bringing Reason to the People". The Afro-American. p. 5.
  8. Doherty, Brian (December 2008). "40 Years of Free Minds and Free Markets: An Oral History of Reason". Reason. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  9. "Virginia Postrel: About". Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  10. "Reason Magazine and Announce New Editors" (Press release). Reason Foundation. November 27, 2007.
  11. Carr, David (April 5, 2004). "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  12. "".
  13. "Webby Honorees". Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  14. Gillespie, Nick; Welch, Matt (June 28, 2011). The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. ISBN 978-1586489380.
  15. Warren, James (June 17, 2016). "Reason's new editor on politics, intern life and leading the magazine into its next 50 years". Poynter. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  16. Cotts, Cynthia (January 21, 2003). "A Marriage Made Online: How 'Reason' Came to 'Suck'". The Village Voice.
  17. "Top 10 Political Blogs". Playboy. November 2006.
  18. "About". ReasonTV. YouTube. October 13, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  19. "About Reason TV". Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  20. "Reason Foundation on Reason Saves Cleveland". March 15, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  21. McDonough, Megan (August 7, 2013). "Remy Munasifi: From 'Arlington Rap' to opening for Ron Paul". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
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