Doherty, Brian 1968–
Doherty, Brian 1968–
Born 1968. Education: University of Florida, bachelor's degree.
Writer, journalist, and editor. Regulation magazine, managing editor, 1993-94; Reason, Los Angeles, CA, associate editor, 1994-2003, senior editor, 2004—. Also worked at the Cato Institute, Washington, DC, and played base in punk rock bands; founder of Cherry Smash Records, 1993.
Warren Brookes Fellow in Environmental Journalism, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 1999.
This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, PublicAffairs (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Spin, National Review, Weekly Standard, San Francisco Chronicle, and Suck.
In his first book, This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, journalist and magazine editor Brian Doherty writes about the annual Burning Man get-together, a weeklong event held in the Nevada dessert near Reno each August that is capped off with the burning of a giant stick figure of a man. An annual attendee of the "new-age" event since 1995, Doherty outlines the event's history and growth into a multimillion dollar occurrence that offers an alternative lifestyle for a week, including new ways of doing commerce and practicing art. In addition to reminiscing about his own time at the festival, the author includes more than one hundred interviews with other attendees. Michelle Chihara, writing in Mother Jones, called This Is Burning Man "an intelligent and exhaustive effort to chronicle the explosion of one of America's most implausible subcultures." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted: "This insider's look at a cornerstone of American subculture is informative, though nearly as chaotic as Burning Man itself."
According to a contributor to Campaigns & Elections, Doherty's second book, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern AmericanLibertarian Movement, is a "well-researched history [that] avoids polemics in outlining a vital political orientation that cuts across the political spectrum." Once again, the author writes about a movement that he has belonged to for many years. In an interview with Jamie Glazov for FrontPageMagazine.com, the author noted his reasons for writing the book, commenting: "I believe that libertarian ideas and the people who advocated them in the twentieth century deserve attention and credit; they really are pushing the political ideas at the heart of the American founding, and did so in the twentieth century against great odds and great hostility, especially after FDR and the New Deal." In his comprehensive history of the Libertarian movement, the author profiles many of the founding members, including Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and F.A. Hayek. He also details Libertarian beliefs, which focus on fostering a small government with the primary purpose of protecting its citizens, a philosophy that differs from the Republican political party in that Libertarians do not favor the legislating of morality. The author also presents his case that Libertarianism may be an answer for many of the problems facing the United States.
Referring to Radicals for Capitalism as "delightful," Fortune contributor Daniel Okrent also called the book a "smart, lively narrative [that] digs deep into libertarianism." Writing in the National Review, Jonah Goldberg commented that "Radicals for Capitalism is, quite simply, the best book of its kind ever written." Goldberg continued: "This should not be interpreted as faint praise merely because it is the only book of its kind ever written (at least that I am aware of). It is an extraordinary accomplishment."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2004, Mike Tribby, review of This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, p. 1879.
Campaigns & Elections, April, 2007, review of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, p. 62.
Fortune, March 19, 2007, Daniel Okrent, "Geniuses, Idealists and Nuts," p. 212.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2004, review of This Is Burning Man, p. 615.
Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Michael O. Eshleman, review of Radicals for Capitalism, p. 96.
Mother Jones, September-October, 2004, Michelle Chihara, review of This Is Burning Man, p. 88.
National Review, May 14, 2007, Jonah Goldberg, "Live Free or Else!," review of Radicals for Capitalism, p. 41.
New York Times Book Review, September 19, 2004, Dave Itzkoff, review of This Is Burning Man; April 1, 2007, David Leonhardt, "Free for All," review of Radicals for Capitalism.
PR Week, November 20, 2006, "Media: Journalist Q&A— Brian Doherty, Reason," p. 10.
Publishers Weekly, July 5, 2004, review of This Is Burning Man, p. 49; December 11, 2006, review of Radicals for Capitalism, p. 58; December 18, 2006, review of Radicals for Capitalism, p. 60.
Reason, October, 2004, "Reason News," p. 10.
FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.frontpagemag.com/ (April 3, 2007), Jamie Glazov, review of Radicals for Capitalism.
Radicals for Capitalism Web site,http://radicalsforcapitalism.com (October 7, 2007).
Reason,http://www.reason.com/ (October 7, 2007), brief profile of author.
This Is Burning Man Web site,http://www.thisisburningman.com (October 7, 2007).