All Commentary
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

President’s Quarterly Update – April 2015


Just months from now, FEE celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1946. We’re getting a head start on it with this quarter’s release of a dramatic revamp of our flagship magazine, the Freeman, which itself is in its 61st year of publication under FEE’s auspices. You can see it here.

It was Albert Jay Nock who first published a magazine (a weekly) using the Freeman moniker in the 1920s but it was Henry Hazlitt, John Chamberlain, and Isaac Don Levine who gave birth to a 1950 reincarnation that became the precursor to today’s version. FEE’s founder, Leonard Read, purchased the magazine in 1954 and within a year it was the organization’s official and primary publication. Over the years, the Freeman’s appearance has changed, as well as its physical size and targeted audience, but it presents today the core, unchanging principles of FEE as unflinchingly as it ever has.

“The new print Freeman,” explains editor Max Borders, “is designed to put us into a league with the finest magazines in the world–for content, look and feel. With this re-launch, we honor our tradition while looking boldly to the future.”

Changes in this newest iteration are exciting and substantial, making the magazine bigger and better than ever:

  • Each issue will be an expanded 52 pages, in full color with original illustrations and spine-bound so it’ll stand on a bookshelf.
  • The content addresses freedom for the next generation of opinion leaders and influencers within all professions. The magazine will become a great companion to classes and student clubs that discuss economics, history, civics, and more.
  • The print edition becomes a quarterly for the first time (versus the previous frequency of ten issues per year) but the Freeman is much more than just a print magazine. Its online version at FEE.org, where readership is far greater, will continue to add fresh content every weekday.
  • The print run per issue will initially triple and is expected to rise steadily from there, allowing us to utilize the magazine for distribution on campuses, in schools and at events sponsored both by FEE and by partner organizations.
  • The annual subscription price remains $50 but a second gift subscription is now available for only $20. You can also order the new Freeman for your own network in bulk by issue or annually here.
  • Every subscriber to the print edition now has access to more articles and commentary—and is making possible the distribution of the Freeman to more people—than ever before in the 61-year history of the magazine.

Over the past three years, The Freeman has been evolving toward this new version as we’ve adapted the entire FEE organization to our targeted demographic—“newcomers” to the freedom philosophy between the ages of 14 and 26. I know that’s occasionally been a little jarring to old-timers like me but as I wrote a couple years ago, the liberty movement needs missionaries more than it does monks. Our purpose at FEE is not to service us old-timers but to inspire, educate and connect the younger set. Liberty’s future success depends upon it! 

As our chief operating officer and Freeman publisher, Richard Lorenc, puts it, “At FEE, we’re focused on making the case for the free society both tremendously interesting and beautiful. The new Freeman magazine is the latest of many important steps we’re taking in this direction.”

We expect greatly-increased distribution of the print Freeman to draw new readers to its dynamic, on-line counterpart at FEE.org. Readership there has already been growing by about 30 percent per year since 2012 under Max Borders’s leadership. At least a quarter-million readers access it every month. That’s a huge reason why FEE.org now ranks in the top one percent of more than one billion websites in the world. Our Alexa ranking—which measures relative website popularity—soared in the past year at a record rate.

The Freeman’s latest rendition is further evidence of what we internally call “the new FEE.” Compared to where we were less than a decade ago, we’re a far more dynamic, tech-savvy, youth-focused and relevant organization, though our principles are unaltered. I’m happy to say that by all measures—output, impact, staff numbers, revenue, social media engagement, you name it—the new FEE is on an unprecedented growth path.

We’re in this battle for liberty not to talk to ourselves but to win the future. The new Freeman will be a crucial and effective tool toward that end.

— Lawrence W. Reed, President


  • Lawrence W. Reed is FEE's President Emeritus, having previously served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is also FEE's Humphreys Family Senior Fellow and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty. His Facebook page is here and his personal website is lawrencewreed.com.