Reason (magazine)

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Reason Magazine Cover.jpg
October 2012 issue of Reason
Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch
Categories general interest, public policy
Frequency 11 issues annually
Circulation 70,000
First issue 1968
Company Reason Foundation
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0048-6906

Reason is an American libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation.[1] The magazine has a circulation of around 70,000[2] and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.[3][4]


Reason was founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander (1947–2011)[2] [5] 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] 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.

In January 1976, Reason carried an interview with James J. Martin, where Martin stated "I don’t believe that the evidence of a planned extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe is holding up" and that "the German concentration camps weren't health centers, but they appear to have been far smaller and much less lethal than the Russian ones".[6] In February 1976, Reason published a special issue devoted to "historical revisionism". This issue included an article by Gary North where he referred to The Holocaust as "the Establishment's favorite horror story" and stated that the books of controversial historian Paul Rassinier "have seriously challenged" the view of the Holocaust.[7] The issue also featured "The Sudeten-German Tragedy" by Austin J. App, who criticised the explusion of the Sudeten Germans as "one of the worst mass atrocities in history."[8]

In 1978, Poole, Klausner, and Machen created the associated Reason Foundation, in order to expand the magazine's ideas into policy research. [5]

Current incarnation[edit]

Matt Welch has been the magazine's editor in chief since 2008. Other Reason writers include Jacob Sullum, Jesse Walker, Brian Doherty, Ronald Bailey, Tim Cavanaugh, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Damon Root, Mike Riggs, Greg Beato, Cathy Young, Jonathan Rauch, and cartoonist Peter Bagge. Former editors include Nick Gillespie, Marty Zupan, and Virginia Postrel.

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.[9] 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."[10]

In 2008, Reason's web site,[11] was named a Webby Award Honoree in the magazine category.[12]

In 2011, Gillespie and Welch published The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America.[13]

Hit & Run[edit]

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."[14]

In 2005, Hit & Run was named as one of the best political blogs by Playboy.[15]

Reason TV[edit]

Reason TV is a website affiliated with Reason magazine that produces short-form documentaries and video editorials. Nick Gillespie is editor-in-chief. The site produced a series of videos called The Drew Carey Project hosted by comedian Drew Carey.[16] teamed with Carey again in 2009 to produce "Reason Saves Cleveland," in which Carey suggested free market solutions to his hometown's problems.[17]

Heroes of Freedom[edit]

In December 2003, Reason listed 35 individuals who were recognized as helping advance the cause of freedom through their actions, either intentionally or unintentionally.[18]

Those receiving recognition included:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reason Foundation - About the Reason Foundation". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  2. ^ a b "The New York Times . Lanny Friedlander, Founder of Reason Magazine, Dies at 63". NYT. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  3. ^ "The 50 Best Magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 12, 2003. 
  4. ^ "50 best magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2004. 
  5. ^ a b c Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the market : Ayn Rand and the American Right. Oxford, England ; Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 9780195324877 (p. 328).
  6. ^ "Introducing Revisionism: An Interview With James J. Martin". Reason. January 1976. 
  7. ^ North, Gary (February 1976). "World War II Revisionism and Vietnam". Reason: 39. 
  8. ^ App, Austin J (February 1976). "The Sudeten-German Tragedy". Reason: 28–33. 
  9. ^ Carr, David (April 5, 2004). "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ Carr, David. "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". The New York Times. April 5, 2004
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Webby Honorees". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  13. ^ "The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America". accessdate= July 28, 2011. 
  14. ^ Cotts, Cynthia (January 21, 2003). "A Marriage Made Online: How 'Reason' Came to 'Suck'". The Village Voice. 
  15. ^ "Top 10 Political Blogs". Playboy. November 2006. 
  16. ^ "About". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Reason Foundation on Reason Saves Cleveland". Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  18. ^ Reason 35 Heroes of Freedom

External links[edit]