'When I Encountered Libertarian Ideas, They Just Resonated With Me': Podcast

Marty Zupan talks about editing Reason in the 1980s, meeting Hayek before it was cool, moving to IHS, and life in the liberty movement.


"I was a college student during the Vietnam War era, but I was putting myself through college and was way too busy with that to be one of those students….When I landed with Reason…I didn't know what 'Berkeley' was…I didn't know who Goldwater was," says Marty Zupan, who started writing for the magazine in 1972. "But when I encountered libertarian or classical liberal ideas…they just resonated with me."

Zupan became editor in chief in 1984, helming the magazine during its move from Santa Barbara, California, to Los Angeles. In 1989, she left Reason and the West Coast to take a job at the Institute for Humane Studies, where she would become president in 2001 before retiring in 2016. Her Reason archive is online here.

Founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander (1947–2011), Reason is celebrating its 50th anniversary by hosting a series of in-depth conversations with past editors in chief about how the magazine has changed since its founding, what we've gotten right and wrong over the years, and what the future holds for believers in "free minds and free markets."

In this Reason Podcast, Zupan talks with me about her experiences and growth in the libertarian movement and focuses on the unique role that the magazine of "free minds and free markets" has played over the past half-century. "One of the virtues of Reason was that it drew on the multiple strands within the libertarian, classical liberal world out there," she says. "Reason would publish a debate, say, between a non-interventionist and a, 'No, really the Soviet Union and its empire is an existential threat to the U.S. and we need to do something about it.' We had the internal debates."

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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