Contributor, Washington Bureau
Laurence I. Barrett covers policy issues, elections, and trends in public affairs as Washington-based political writer. He returned to active coverage, as the magazine's National Political Correspondent, in July 1991 after a two-year stint as deputy Washington bureau chief. Barrett also helps plan TIME's political polls and analyzes the results of these surveys.
Barrett, who covered his first Presidential election in 1964, was the lead reporter for TIME's coverage of the 1988 campaign. He was one of the authors of The Winning of the White House 1988, a Book of the Month club selection written by TIME's political team.
From late 1979 through 1985, Barrett was TIME's principal correspondent covering candidate and President Reagan. He contributed to a score of TIME cover stories, including two "Man of the Year" articles and the special election issues of 1980 and 1984. Barrett's book on the first two years of the Reagan Administration, Gambling with History: Reagan in the White House (Doubleday, 1983; Penguin, 1984), was favorably reviewed in the United States and Europe.
Barrett has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows, including CNN's Talk Back Live and Crossfire, Today, MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, Fox Morning News, CBS This Morning, Larry King Live and the Derek McGinty show. He is also a frequent lecturer before business and campus audiences and is on the faculty of American University's Washington Semester in Journalism program.
Barrett's career with TIME started in 1965, when he became a writer for the Nation section. Later he served as a senior editor for six years. Among the sections Barrett headed were Press, Law, Medicine and Theater. He returned to reporting in 1975 when he became chief of the New York regional bureau.
A New Yorker who was educated at New York University and Columbia, Barrett broke into journalism as a general assignment reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in 1958. Later he headed the newspaper's City Hall bureau and wrote a weekly column on public affairs. His novel The Mayor of New York, was published by Doubleday in 1965. By that time he was finishing a three-year assignment in the Tribune's Washington bureau, where he covered the Pentagon, State Department and politics.