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 whitest of them all

Indians are obsessed with skin colour, according to blogger Vislumbers. A fascinating insight into Indian ideas of beauty, fashion and avoiding the sun.
  • Iqbal Khaldun

    I agree with everything everyone else has said. But I also think it has something to do with revering the ‘caucasion’ physical ideal. The dominant images of prosperity and enlightenment (whether real or imagined) are white ones. Many Asians therefore have a reverence for it.

    I’ve been to a lot of South Asian weddings/social functions. It saddens me actually to see all these ‘powder-faced’ girls who have clearly had the notion drummed into them that fair is, well, lovely.

    Re the Western notion of tanned beauty, I think that can be traced back to the first half of the 20th century. Prior to that, the dominant notion, as far as I’ve read, was that being fair was the ideal in beauty terms. Like other societies, this was because it implied you were not out in the sun working all day like most other people. If you look at painting from Europe pre 1900s, especially of women, you might notice that the subject often looks almost sickly white. Around the 1920s, when the modern Western ‘cult’ of hedonism was arguably born, being tanned very quickly became associated with having an exciting, outdoor life of leisure and entertainment.

    I think there are overt reflections of class structures in dominant notions of beauty.

  • Vasco Pyjama

    So are Anglos. Except they want to be tanned. And the lengths they go to to achieve the golden tan! Including skin cancer!But interesting link. When I worked in the Philippines, my colleagues were mortified every time I returned from the beach with a tan. 🙂

  • theswanker

    You can add Burmese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Japanese and Filipinos to that list.

  • Shay

    Yep theswanker… it's pretty much a pan-Asian phenomenon (i'm assuming you stopped the list their to keep from boring us silly with a list of every country in Asia). All to do with the fact that the working classes are always out in the sun, and therefore dark-skinned, while the upper classes let the working classes do their outdoorsy stuff for them. If you have dark skin, then you must be low class.My wife is Chinese, and I remember the first time she met any members of my family before we were married. My grandmother, aunt and uncle were in Bangkok, where we were living at the time, and we had just finished a week staying in a bungalow on one of the Thai islands, and both came back with a tan (I thought she looked fantastic). When she mentioned this to her mother, she went nuts, telling her that my family would think that she was some skanky low-class farm girl which, I'm told, is a bad thing.So stay inside during the day, carry an umbrella if you must go outside for more than a quick dash. And lather yourself in whitening skin-care products. Just try buying a sunscreen here that isn't whitening!And good point Vasco… I would postulate that us whiteys like to be brown for similar reasons. While the Asians were, and still are, predominantly rural, we have been locked up inside offices or factories for so long, that it is only in our leisure time that we can get near the sun. Over time this seeps into the culture, so deep down a tan is a sign of a leisurely life, just like whiteness is a sign of the same here in Asia.My daughter has my skin colour…. there's no way I'm letting the Chinese boys near her until I can't legally stop her!!