The Imperial Messenger
Thomas Friedman at Work
A Verso book
Debunking the bluster of New York Times columnist and capitalist apologist Thomas Friedman, as part of Verso’s new “Counterblasts” series.
Factual errors, ham-fisted analysis, and contradictory assertions—compounded by a penchant for mixed metaphors and name-dropping—distinguish the work of Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman. The Imperial Messenger reveals the true value of this media darling, a risible writer whose success tells us much about the failures of contemporary journalism. Belén Fernández dissects the Friedman corpus with wit and journalistic savvy to expose newsroom practices that favor macho rhetoric over serious inquiry, a pacified readership over an empowered one, and reductionist analysis over integrity.
The Imperial Messenger is polemic at its best, relentless in its attack on this apologist for American empire and passionate in its commitment to justice.
About the series: Counterblasts is a new Verso series that aims to revive the tradition of polemical writing
inaugurated by Puritan and leveller pamphleteers in the seventeenth century, when in the words
of one of them, Gerard Winstanley, the old world was “running up like parchment in the fire.”
From 1640 to 1663, a leading bookseller and publisher, George Thomason, recorded that his
collection alone contained over twenty thousand pamphlets. such polemics reappeared both
before and during the French, Russian, Chinese and Cuban revolutions of the last century.
In a period of conformity where politicians, media barons and their ideological
hirelings rarely challenge the basis of existing society, it’s time to revive the tradition.
Verso’s Counterblasts will challenge the apologists of Empire and Capital.
- November 2011
- 5.2 × 7.8 in
/ 240 pages
- Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.
Endorsements & Reviews
“Filleting the silliest man on the planet needs a sure
scalpel, and Belén Fernández wields hers with deadly finesse.” — Alexander Cockburn, editor of CounterPunch
“A long overdue takedown of a dangerous fraud. Fernández deserves great credit for having the stomach to digest all of Friedman’s oeuvre and for her witty, fact-based and ruthless deconstruction of all his contradictions, incoherence, jingoism and inane aphorisms. You read it and you are amazed how a clown could rise to such dominance in American culture and how such drivel could pass for insight, and what that implies about us. The book is a vaccination that should be given to all college freshmen lest they too get infected, an antidote for those suffering from admiration of Friedman and a palliative remedy for those of us who have had aneurysms in reaction to his every latest bloviation.” — Nir Rosen, author of Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World
“Via razor sharp analysis and meticulous research, Fernández reveals the consistently disastrous effects of the neoliberal policies Friedman cheerleads. The hubris, sophistry, consistent hypocrisy, and buffoonery of the New York Times’s most widely read columnist is systematically deconstructed and laid bare. A must-read.” — Dahr Jamail, journalist and author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq
“Belén Fernández is a revelation to those who don't know her yet and a confirmation for those happy few who have known her sublime sense of political satire—subdued, innocent, piercing, frightful. She is a political satirist of the Generation X vintage—low-key, self-effacing, happenstance, ‘what-ever’-type who crawls under your skin and begins to tickle and before you know it bite. She insinuates so effortlessly, you think she is just chilling—she is not. Her book on Thomas Friedman is an act of restitution, a declaration of independence from a young, idealist, brave, and defiant generation of Americans who have had it up to here with barefaced banality that has been fed to them for too long. She is talking back—boldly, patiently, chapter and verse, going in for the kill.” — Hamid Dabashi, author of Iran, the Green Movement and the USA: The Fox and the Paradox
“The Imperial Messenger is a superb dissection of the character of Thomas Friedman, and all the representations he snootily imitates. Belén Fernández’s style is witty and unique, and her book is the antithesis of Friedman’s various attempts at logic.” — Ramzy Baroud, author of My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story