Those Partisan Review fights got serious, and so does this book. (…)
Mr. Berman has sensitive aesthetic as well as political antennas. For him, style makes the man.
He deplores the “diffident cough” in Mr. Buruma’s writing and finds him “courteous and amiable” to a fault. He’s a writer, Mr. Berman says, who “would never stoop to using a strong adjective like “repulsive,” or any adjective at all, unless it were presented as a double negative.”
He is even more brutal about Mr. Ramadan’s “faux esoteric and ecumenical guru tone, suitable for all denominations.”