Virginia Postrel

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Virginia Postrel

Virginia Postrel is an author, columnist, and speaker whose work spans a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion, all with an eye toward understanding the personal and social meaning of life in a dynamic, commercial culture.

Her latest book The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World, was published in November 2020 by Basic Books. Postrel's previous books include The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion (2013), The Substance of Style (2003), and The Future and Its Enemies (1998) She is a contributing editor for Works in Progress magazine, published by Stripe Press, and writes a newsletter at

She spent the 2020–21 and 2021–22 academic years as a visiting fellow at the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy at Chapman University, where she taught classes combining the humanities and economics.

She has been a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Forbes, as well as a widely published freelance writer and book reviewer.

From July 1989 to January 2000, Postrel was the editor of Reason magazine and vice president of the Reason Foundation.

During her research for The Fabric of Civilization, she learned to weave and is currently the president of the Southern California Handweavers' Guild.

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