Sneha Girap (Editor)

Virginia Postrel

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Full Name  Virginia Inman
Name  Virginia Postrel
Nationality  American
Role  Writer

Occupation  Author
Education  Princeton University
Spouse(s)  Steven Postrel
Known for  Libertarianism
Virginia Postrel assetsbwbxioimagesibyVC83yKq2ov1640x1jpg

Born  January 14, 1960 (age 55) (1960-01-14) Greenville, South Carolina
Residence  Los Angeles, California
Alma mater  Princeton University (B.A., English Literature, 1982)
Books  The Power of Glamour: Longing, The Substance of Style, The Future and Its Enemies

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Virginia Inman Postrel (born January 14, 1960) is an American political and cultural writer of broadly libertarian, or classical liberal, views.


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She is best known for her 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 that generally favors unregulated organization through "spontaneous order". She contrasts it with "stasis", a philosophy that favors top-down control and regulation and is marked by desire to maintain the present state of affairs. In November 2013, she published a third book, The Power of Glamour, which defined glamour as "nonverbal rhetoric" that “leads us to feel that the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more.”

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Virginia postrel the power of glamour

Early life and education

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Virginia Inman was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. Her father was an engineer and her mother was a homemaker who later went on to get her master's degree and teach at the college level. Virginia went on to college at Princeton University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in English Literature.


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Postrel was editor-in-chief 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 and from 2006 to 2009 she wrote the "Commerce and Culture" column for The Atlantic. She also appeared on the last episode of the third season of Penn and Teller's Bullshit!.

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Postrel wrote the biweekly column "Commerce & Culture" for the Wall Street Journal until April 2011. Since May 2011, she has written a biweekly column for Bloomberg View.

Health care, bioethics, and aesthetics

Virginia Postrel How Glamour Shapes Our Lives QampA with Former Reason

Postrel has written several articles on health care and bioethics, including accounts of her own experiences.

In March 2006 Postrel donated a kidney to an acquaintance, writer Sally Satel. She has recounted the experience, and referred to it in several subsequent articles and blog posts, many of which are critical of legal prohibitions against compensating organ donors. In some of the pieces, she discusses strategies for working around these restrictions, such as organ donor transplant chains.

In her March 2009 article "My Drug Problem" in The Atlantic, Postrel wrote about her own experience of being treated for breast cancer with the expensive drug Herceptin. She questioned if such a costly treatment would be available to others and if the risky research that makes such innovative treatments possible would be profitable under the proposed health care reforms in the United States.

Postrel has also referred to her experience as a cancer patient in her writing about the importance of design aesthetics in hospitals and the competitive forces that drive them to create more attractive environments for patients. This ties into the thesis of her second book, that beauty is more than simply a superficial, frivolous trait and can go more than skin deep. Notions of beauty and desirability, and thoughts on what makes good design good beyond the needs of sound engineering, inform her work at the "Deep Glamour" blog.


Virginia Postrel Wikipedia