|ABOUT VIRGINIA POSTREL
Virginia Postrel (pron. PAH-STRELL) is an author, columnist, and speaker whose work spans a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion. She describes her work as "intellectual arbitrage"--synthesizing, analyzing, and communicating ideas from many different fields in an original and accessible way, usually with focus on culture and commerce.
Writing in Vanity Fair, Sam Tanenhaus (now the editor of The New York Times Book Review) described her as "a master D.J. who sequences the latest riffs from the hard sciences, the social sciences, business, and technology, to name only a few sources."
Postrel is the author of The Substance of Style (2003)
and The Future and Its Enemies (1998). She is writing a book on glamour, to be published in fall 2013 by Simon & Schuster, and is a regular columnist for the Bloomberg View division of Bloomberg.com.
A popular speaker for business, design, and university groups, she teaches a seminar on "Glamour: Theory and Practice" in the Branding MPS program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her corporate speaking venues have included Nike, Procter & Gamble, 7 for All Mankind, Target, Liz Claiborne, Sony, and IDEO.
She has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Forbes and its companion technology magazine Forbes ASAP.
Postrel received the 2011 Bastiat Prize, honoring journalism that displays "support for the institutions of the free society, persuasiveness, wit and creativity, relevance, and clarity and simplicity." Her work was featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004. In 2012, her Bloomberg View columns received a first-place award for online entertainment commentary from the Los Angeles Press Club. The judges wrote that "Postrel shows a sharp eye for detail and gleans meaningful truths from our entertainment culture."
From July 1989 to January 2000, Postrel was the editor of Reason magazine. Under her leadership, Reason was selected as a finalist for the National Magazine Awards, the industry's highest honor, for essays in 1993 and public interest journalism in 1996 and in 1998, when Reason had two finalist articles. She founded Reason Online, the magazine's website, in 1995.
In March 2006, she donated a kidney to her friend Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She has become a vocal advocate of living organ donations and of reforming federal laws that prohibit payment of any "valuable consideration" to organ donors. She writes and speaks frequently on the subject. Her most comprehensive article on the subject is this Atlantic.com feature.
She serves on the board of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
Postrel has twice been a finalist in the commentary category of the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism for her columns in Reason. In 1995, she received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award for Commentary for an editorial in Reason. In 2002, she received the Press Club of Dallas's Katie Award for commentary for a column in D Magazine.
Prior to becoming editor of the magazine in 1989, Postrel served as associate editor of Reason and, before that, as a reporter for Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.
Postrel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, with a degree in English literature. She is married to Steven Postrel, an economist and business strategy professor, and lives in Los Angeles.
For a high-resolution photos of Virginia, click here (full face, outdoors) or here (profile, indoors).
Contact Virginia Postrel via email at