Wayne Barrett, who passed away on January 19, 2017, was in fact a “fierce muckraker” as described in the New York Times’ laudatory obituary published the day of Barrett’s death. Barrett’s unparalleled research scared the political people he wrote about, and his long articles in the Village Voice based on those facts frightened them even more.
Wayne Barrett had no peer when it came to ferreting out the full story of politicians’ tricks, compromises and corruption. He read the transcripts, attended the trials, found the documents, got the witnesses to talk and drew the inferences. There is no better description of the hidden political dealings of mid-twentieth century New York City than can be found in Barrett’s books on the rise of Donald Trump and on the scandals that emerged in the third term of the Koch Administration in the 1980s.