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Win the complete Counterblasts series and more! - competition now closed

Decca Muldowney 3 April 2012


Win the complete Counterblasts series! 

HOW TO ENTER: Those in North America, email For the rest of the world, including the UK, email Please put COUNTERBLASTS COMPETITION in the subject line or your entry may not be counted. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 10th April.

Can truth really be stranger than fiction? If anyone can answer that question definitively, it is Thomas Friedman, who occupies pride of place in the Counterblasts series in The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work by Belén Fernández.

Starting today, to celebrate the publication of Verso's new Counterblasts series, we will be posting three quotations every day relating to each of these three neoliberal defenders of empire and capital. All you need to do is spot the real one from among the fakes.

The prize is the full set of Counterblasts - Michael Ignatieff: The Lesser Evil? by Derrick O'Keefe, The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work by Belén Fernández and The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland by Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte - AND Britain's Empire by Richard Gott and Liberalism: A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo.

The competition closes on Friday 6th April. The final questions will be posted at 4pm GMT on Thursday 5th April. The winners will be the first person in each territory (US/Canada and rest of the world) to email the correct answers to all three questions after this time. More details about how to submit your answers will be posted on Thursday-please do not attempt to enter before then!

Please do not post the answers on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else-entries accepted by email only. Any comments posting the answers will be deleted.

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." 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.

Good luck!



Day 1: Which of these is a genuine Friedmanism?

A. "Syria has come to a fork in the road to Damascus. Whichever road it takes, let's hope it's not the road not taken."

B."In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears-and that is our problem."

C. "Looking for dignity in all the wrong places, Egypt takes step backward after shooting itself in both feet"


Day 2: Which of these gems comes from Bernard-Henri Lévy?

A. "Hilary Clinton, Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie are beautiful and bright, their only fault, alas, is that they're not men."

B."In the footsteps of Che Guevara, I'll always be there to fight green fascism, dark Islamism."

C."You can print it, I consider myself as the best writer, the most gifted author of non-fiction of my generation."


 Day 3: Which of the following did Michael Ignatieff really say?:

A."Imperialism used to be the white man's burden. This gave it a bad reputation. But imperialism doesn't stop being necessary just because it becomes politically incorrect."

B."It's all very well for us to sit here in the west with our high incomes and cushy lives, and say it's immoral to violate the sovereignty of another state. But if the effect of that is to bring people in that country economic and political freedom, to raise their standard of living, to increase their life expectancy, then don't rule it out."

C."So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don't understand how incredibly vulnerable it is."