Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

The wedding

I’m off to Melbourne for a couple of days. A long-time friend is getting married in what I expect to be an OTT extravaganza. I’ve already been informed that I’m sitting next to a former girlfriend, and another ex will be at my table. Joy to the world. Alas, I have few fears. Everybody has moved on and our lives are better enriched without the other. Besides, returning to my home-town always brings a certain thrill. My closest friends are there, all living about five minutes walking distance from each other in Fitzroy. Bars, brasseries and booze will be consumed and visited.

I don’t miss Premier Steve Bracks. I don’t miss The Age. I do miss Yelza.

For those missing the incisive political commentary, here’s something to keep you occupied.

For those missing the occasional witty animation, take a look at these.

For the others, leave in comments your most memorable wedding experience, positive or less than ideal.

14 comments ↪
  • Zoe

    Consuming or visiting a brassiere?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ideally, consuming the entire damn place, but take your pick. Whatever rocks your boat.

  • Andrew Bartlett

    My most memorable wedding experience would be my own, but I guess you had to be me to appreciate it.I doubt I'd miss my hometown newspaper either, but given your preceding item on Nauru, The Age (or Michael Gordon at least) should get credit for giving such a profile to this important story.Michael Gordon has made an impact already with some of his past stories on refugees, and finally breaking the mainstream media blackout on the remaining refugees on Nauru could well prove to be signficant.

  • Jozef Imrich, Esq.

    My father and my grandmother used to share a wedding story about my grandfather who was born, bred and burried in Pilhov na Popradom (River Poprad seperated the Slovak from the Polish bunch). I understand that his intention to marry a local girl where announced on Sunday at two different churches on the same day and only a few weeks before he was to serve in the Austrio-Hungarian regiment.The only problem was that he proposed to two different girls and both shared the great news with the local priest ;-D The story spread quickly like wildfire and good empire Franz Jozef saved my grandfather's skin.Certainly Australia would welcome him today as he ended up bragging a fertile life. Jozef Imrich fathered 11 children. I believe that seven with his first wife and four with his second wife. He did get married second time after his first wife died and that the second time he only proposed to Katarina and no one else. He was almost 40 when he married my grandmother Katarina who turned 16. My grandmother used to retell this and many other stories whenever I invaded her place during school holidays. It was a place without electricity and running water yet full of soulful stories and memories.(My grandmother who had a smile on her face all the time despite the hard life in a hard environment passed away peacefully with her trademark smile in Vrbov six months before I left the bad old Czechoslovakia.)

  • Guy

    At a mate's wedding a couple of years back I was best man, and it was requested by the groom that I incorporate quotes in my speech from Karl Marx, Bob Ellis, and Dr. Seuss.Needless to say it was an interesting speech.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Still in Melbourne. Wedding was nice last night, if a little conventional. You know, if you're spending absurd amounts on the event, wouldn't you want many personal touches?Andrew, re the Nauru story. I agree, great the Age is writing about it, BUT, why the hell has it taken so long? If the government didn't allow access, find ways to get in. Dateline did. As did others. It's shameful that Fairfax has to wait until they're told it's OK to go.

  • Anonymous

    I'd love to sit next to you at a wedding, mine!

  • Polywise

    The good: Okay, so it wasn't a "wedding", it was a commitment ceremony (but it SHOULD be allowed to be called a wedding). Regardless, the weather was perfect and the ceremony was one of the most touching and genuine expressions of love I’ve ever beared witness to. Of course, having Sydney Harbour as the backdrop didn’t hurt. The reception was laid back, yet elegant, simple yet catered to perfection. God bless gay boys – they know how to “do” cocktail parties (and there’s no risk of me ever out doing the bride!). The bad: A colleague’s wedding held in a park next to a Sydney beach 2 years ago. The day started out very warm and sunny, however, a southerly blew in just as the ceremony kicked off. By the end, everyone was saturated and the outdoor reception had to be cancelled.The ugly: London 1998. The bride arrived at the church 45 minutes late and a little tipsy. Her conditioned continued to worsen as the afternoon wore on. 2 hours into the reception, she vomited on herself before passing out. Her mother cried. The groom left. P.S. I would like to say that the 'anonymous' comment above was not from me.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I think I’m busy on most weekends until a progressive man or woman is elected in Australia.
    I know, it’ll be a while….

  • Anonymous

    Quick question Antony, you don't have a brother named Phillip do you? I went to a Melbourne school with a Phillip Lowenstein some years back. Just curious.-Tony D

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Nope. No brother or sister. Only child.And my mother ain't some rich bitch who works for Bill Blass.

  • Anonymous

    Ah cool, just a curious thought… you look kinda like him is all :-)Have Fun!-TD

  • Anonymous

    Antony, Antony, I wouldn't care if your mother was Tony Abbott's cleaner – if that doesn't say how much I care for you I don't know what does. So how about it baby? Wanna sit next to me at my wedding?

  • Anonymous

    That's the sweeted let down I have ever had….