Good article by Peter Steinfels in the New York Times:
If the label “new atheists” has been accorded to a fistful of polemicists who set out to counter in-your-face religion with in-your-face atheism, then Ronald Aronson must qualify as something different: a new new atheist perhaps.
This is slightly odd, because it is Mr. Aronson, a professor of the history of ideas at Wayne State University, who is often considered to have given life to the “new atheists” label, in a long, thoughtful review he wrote for Bookforum in 2005.
In the end, of the books by seven authors that Mr. Aronson was reviewing there, only “The End of Faith,” by Sam Harris, which Mr. Aronson criticized for “intolerance” and “zealotry,” emerged as a best seller in the wave of take-no-prisoners new-atheist books. Mr. Aronson proposed that neither it nor the other books under review provided “the most urgent need” for secularists today: “a coherent popular philosophy that answers vital questions about how to live one’s life.”