The writers in the New York Review of Books don't pull their punches. One of my favorite examples is by Hans Morgenthau, reviewing W. W. Rostow's View from the Seventh Floor in the July 30, 1964 issue. The Sweet Smell of Success:
What is so disturbing and also fascinating in this book is exactly the contrast between the firm convictions and intellectual honesty of its author and the caricature it presents of its subject matter, the foreign policy of the United States. Mr. Rostow has a powerful, brilliant, and creative mind. How could such a mind produce such trash?
When an intellectual finds himself in the seat of power he is tempted to equate the power of his intellect with the power of his office. As he could mould the printed word to suit his ideas so he now expects the real world to respond to his actions. Hence his confidence in himself, his pride, his optimism; hence, also, the absence of the tragic sense of life, of humility, of that fear and trembling with which great statesmen have approached their task, knowing that in trying to mould the political world they must act like gods, without the knowledge, the wisdom, the power, and the goodness which their task demands.