Barrett, William(1913–92) philosopher, critic; born in New York City. Educated at the City College of New York and Columbia University, he was associated with the Partisan Review group of intellectuals in the 1930s but moved gradually to the right in his political thought. He taught philosophy at New York University from 1950–79. His widely praised Irrational Man (1958) explained European existentialism to the general reader. His memoir, The Truants: Adventures among the Intellectuals, appeared in 1982.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.