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Virginia Postrel

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Virginia I. Postrel (born 14 January 1960) is an American political and cultural writer of broadly libertarian, or classical liberal, views. She is best known for her two non-fiction books, The Future and Its Enemies and The Substance of Style. In the former she explains her philosophy, "dynamism," a forward-looking and change-seeking philosophy which generally favors unregulated organization through "spontaneous order". She contrasts it with "stasis," a philosophy favoring top-down control and regulation and a desire to maintain the present state of affairs.

Additional recommended knowledge

Virginia Postrel was editor of Reason from July 1989 to January 2000, and remained on the masthead as editor-at-large through 2001. Prior to that, she was a reporter for Inc. and The Wall Street Journal. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). From 2000 to 2006, she wrote an economics column for The New York Times. She also appeared on the last episode of the third season of Penn and Teller's Bullshit!.

Postrel writes the monthly column "Commerce & Culture" for The Atlantic.

A proponent of lifting bans on payment for organ donation, Postrel recently donated a kidney to an acquaintance of hers named Sally Satel. See List of notable organ transplant donors and recipients and Econtalk podcast where Postrel discusses donation.

Diagnosed with breast cancer

On September 20, 2007, Postrel wrote on her blog, "I have breast cancer and start chemotherapy next Friday. Despite an aggressive type of cancer, my prognosis is good, thanks largely to the monocolonal antibody drug Herceptin. The research behind my specific regimen is described here. Yet another reason I'm extraordinarily happy to be back in L.A." [1]

On November 26, 2007, Postrel wrote on her blog, "Thanks to the many readers who've sent their good wishes for my recovery from breast cancer. I've now had three rounds of chemo with three more to go, one every three weeks. (Most of my hair fell out about two weeks after the first round.) On the whole, the treatments haven't been as traumatic as I feared. Thanks to drugs to prevent nausea and boost white blood cell production, I haven't suffered the two worst side effects of chemo: nausea and immunosuppression. Mostly I've just been exhausted for the first week or so after each round." [2]


  • The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress, Free Press, (December 1, 1998) (ISBN 0-684-86269-7)
  • The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness, HarperCollins, September 2003 (ISBN 0-06-018632-1)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Virginia_Postrel". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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