From NRO's John Miller, an appreciation of the life and career of former Reader's Digest senior editor John Barron, who passed away last month at the age of 75. In the 1970s and 80s, Barron authored a series of ground-breaking best sellers on the activities and tactics of the KGB. Barron, more than any other journalist of his era, exposed the pervasive reach of the Soviet spy agency, and the threat it posed to our national security. Mr. Barron won some recognition for his work, but never the credit he truly deserved.
It's ironic that Barron died on the same day as Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo journalist, who was once described as a "drug addict impersonating a reporter." Thompson's death was front-page news in some locales, while Barron's passing received little notice. I believe the judgment of history will be kinder; Barron's fearless reporting will be remembered long after the rantings of "Dr. Thompson" become a distant blur.