Nick Gillespie is editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, arguably the most respected and influential publication in the libertarian movement. The magazine, which has a circulation of about 60,000, covers politics, civil liberties, and social issues from a libertarian perspective.
Reason was named one of America's "50 Best Magazines" by The Chicago Tribune and was a finalist for an Utne Independent Press award for political coverage in 2002.
When Gillespie took over the editorial reins in 2000, he gave Reason a pop-culture makeover. Under his guidance, the magazine focused more on movies, music, television, and the Internet -- and ran cover stories on the Beatles, Martha Stewart, and consumerism. Gillespie told The Washington Post that Reason started devoting more space to cultural issues because "let's face it, the Beatles are much more important to people's lives than any politician."
Columnist Bill Steigerwald at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said Gillespie made the magazine "younger, sassier, and more interested in pop culture and high tech." Cynthia Cotts at the Village Voice said Gillespie added "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" to a magazine that was considered intellectually respectable but a bit bland.
Gillespie contributes to Reason's new sensibility by writing knowledgeably about almost all facets of culture, high and low: From the Ramones ("avatars of self-expression") to writer Don DeLillo ("arguably America's finest living novelist") to Gilligan's Island ("the most famous castaways in history").
Before joining the Reason staff in 1993, Gillespie worked at two music magazines, Metallix and Smash Hits, and was a reporter for several New Jersey newspapers. Essays by Gillespie have been printed in The New York Times, Slate.com, The Washington Post, Salon.com, and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
-- Bill Winter
"Tolerance, particularly in a libertarian framework, is grounded in respect for individuals as equal and autonomous agents, as long as they recognize others' similar standing..." -- Nick Gillespie on Reason Online (December 20, 2001)
Nick Gillespi is also the author of Choice: The Best of Reason.