Virginia Postrel is a writer and cultural critic who examines the hidden economics of modern society, poking at the unexamined ideas behind the march of progress.

Why you should listen

Virginia Postrel looks at culture through the lens of economics, and vice versa -- looking for the hidden actors and attitudes that drive us to make the choices we do. She writes frequently for the Atlantic and Forbes, and is the author of several books, including The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies.

Her next book will be about glamour; she's exploring the topic on the witty blog Deep Glamour. Her own blog, frequently updated and fascinatingly wide-ranging, is the Dynamist.

What others say

"[She's] a master D.J. who sequences the latest riffs from the hard sciences, the social sciences, business, and technology, to name only a few sources." — Vanity Fair

Virginia Postrel’s TED talks

Virginia Postrel on the TED Blog

4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

Continue reading

Quotes from Virginia Postrel

All individuals and all cultures have ideals that cannot possibly be realized in reality. They have contradictions, they uphold principles that are incommensurable with each other — and yet these ideals give meaning and purpose to our lives as cultures and as individuals.
Virginia Postrel
TED2004 • 277K views Oct 2008
Informative, Fascinating
Glamour is all about transcending this world and getting to an idealized, perfect place.
Virginia Postrel
TED2004 • 277K views Oct 2008
Informative, Fascinating
Glamour is translucent — not transparent, not opaque. It invites us into the world but it doesn’t give us a completely clear picture.
Virginia Postrel
TED2004 • 277K views Oct 2008
Informative, Fascinating