45 Years, 45 Days: Meet Reason's 35 Heroes of Freedom

For 45 days, we'll be celebrating Reason's 45th anniversary by releasing a story a day from the archives—one for each year of the magazine's history. See the full list here.

To celebrate Reason’s 35th anniversary in 2003, our December issue of that year profiled “35 Heroes of Freedom,” the people who have made the world groovier and groovier since 1968. Who made the list? Read on.

While there is no shortage of threats to life and liberty -- from international terrorism to poverty-inducing trade barriers to the deadly war on drugs -- these are indeed high times for a magazine devoted to exploring the promises of "Free Minds and Free Markets." For all of its many problems, the world we live in is dizzying in its variety, breathtaking in its riches, and wide-ranging in its options. Malcontents on the right and left who diagnose modernity as suffering from "affluenza" or "options anxiety" will admit this much: These days we've even got a greater choice of ways to be unhappy. Which may be as close to a definition of utopia as we're likely to come.

What follows is reason's tribute to some of the people who have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action. The one criterion: Honorees needed to have been alive at some point during reason's run, which began in May 1968. The list is by design eclectic, irreverent, and woefully incomplete, but it limns the many ways in which the world has only gotten groovier and groovier during the last 35 years.

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  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
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