Barrett was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1951. He graduated in 1973 from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s in American studies. After working as a radio news director, Barrett became the Public Affairs Director for WNIT Public Television, in South Bend, Indiana for eight years. In this capacity he produced documentaries, moderated political debates, and hosted and produced a nightly interview program. Barrett occasionally contributed background information for use on “The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour,” and appeared as a guest interviewer on William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line” in January 1984. Barrett occasionally conducted interviews for two syndicated television series produced by Oblate Media, Golden Dome Productions and the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for International Peace Studies from 1988 to 1991. In 1984, he was a candidate in the Democratic primary election campaign for the United States House of Representatives from Indiana’s third congressional district.
Barrett received his master’s from the University of Essex in England in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1990. He currently serves as Professor of Political Science at Villanova University. His chief research interests are the U.S. presidency and Congress in relation to national defense and intelligence policies. The most recent of his three books—The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy—explores the confidential interactions between heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and congressional leaders. His previous books examined Vietnam: Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection and Uncertain Warriors: Lyndon Johnson and His Vietnam Advisers.
Materials in this collection were compiled by Barrett while conducting research for his book The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy. Files consist of copies of documents (such as correspondence, memoranda, telegraphs, congressional records, correspondence, clippings, statements, budget information, and reports) from other archival repositories, historical studies, and researcher notes. They provide an in depth record of the relationship between Congress and the CIA, as well as a study of the CIA itself.
The Russell Library is open for research from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For further information on the David M. Barrett Research Files, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (706) 542-5788.