While Europe Slept

I’ve been reading and enjoying Claire Berlinski’s alarming, well-written new book Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis is America’s Too. London Times contributor Clive Davis reviews Berlinski’s book together with Bruce Bawer’s book on the same subject in today’s Washington Times: “Extremism in Europe, and questions of what’s next.” Davis more or less praises Bawer’s book and pans Berlinski’s, while providing this qualification as to both:

What worries me about books like this is that they risk reducing Europe to a caricature in much the same way as Stupid White Men turns America into one big Wal-Mart with drive-by shootings. There is an appetite for this kind of thing, as we saw last year when so many U.S. commentators who should have known better rushed to describe the French riots as a Muslim “intifada.”

Davis doesn’t mention the cartoon “intifada,” presumably because it lies just beyond the horizon of the books. I should think it lends some support to their themes. In any event, Davis’s review provides the perspective of a knowledgeable European on these two important books.

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