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.

More diversity, indeed

The front page story in today’s Australian, New TV outlets in media reforms, outlines the Howard government’s plans to introduce more pay TV channels and the “reasonable prospect” of changing the existing cross media laws. The result? Less diversity, fewer owners and the same message pumped out across a variety of mediums. For the Murdoch press – long-time supporters to change the laws, once suggesting that the “liberalising” of the laws would improve diversity – it seems pragmatism and the truth has got in the way. Reporter Steve Lewis writes:

“This could allow major proprietors such as Kerry Packer’s PBL or News Limited, publisher of The Australian, to broaden their domestic interests. It would also permit new foreign players to take significant stakes in existing media assets, or establish start-up operations.”

No kidding. This morning Radio National discussed some of these issues, including the release of a new Robert Manne edited collection, “Do Not Disturb: Is the Media Failing Australia?” (out through Black Inc Books this week.) I’ve started reading the book and although many of the contributors articulate the failings of the media here – including “entertainment” as news, too few owners and Howard government intervention – I’m astounded that two writers are still convinced that institutions such as the New York Times and Washington Post are the benchmark. They’re not. Much of the US mainstream media is experiencing a crisis of confidence and credibility and rightly so.

Have these writers forgotten the Iraq war and the media’s complicity with government claims of WMD? The NY Times’ Judith Miller is perhaps the most well-known culprit, but the buck certainly stops much higher. A fascinating book, “The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy“, outlines the continual failure of the paper and its deference to US power. The NY Times is as much of the problem as Fox News, and far too many so-called “progressives” fail to understand the similarity.

  • evan jones

    James Aronson, in The Press and the Cold War, put the boot into these absurdly venerated establishment newspapers in 1970. There's many provincial papers in the US that do a decent job but are ignored in Australia.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Our mainstream press seems to worship at the feet of the 'quality' US and UK newspapers, using their copy almost religiously and on a daily basis. It's as if the opinion should be respected or the story believed because it's been in the NYTimes…

  • Andjam

    That the mainstream media is really awful is one of the few things both hemispheres of the blogosphere agree on.Thank goodness for the internet.

  • Rich Bowden

    Going back to the early 80's when the US-supported Iraq was gassing Iranian soldiers on an almost daily basis, the Washington Post was editorializing that it would be too picky to "sanction one form of warfare and not another."I'd be interested if you could provide me with a list of provincial newspapers in the US that you'd recommend Evan.

  • Andjam

    Going back to the early 80's when the US-supported Iraq was gassing Iranian soldiers on an almost daily basis, the Washington Post was editorializing that it would be too picky to "sanction one form of warfare and not another."Do you have a hyperlink to the WaPo's editorial?

  • evan jones

    re Rich Bowden's interest in American provincial newspapers. See my 'Will it play in Peoria?' that you would want to be reading them from Australia, as they are saturated with local issues. The point is that the matter of factness of local American communities will have them more concerned with body bags than the imperial mission of 'freedom and democracy' loved by the establishment press. In yesterday's Madison Capital Times, for example, the editor noted Toyota's preference for Canada because of its universal health system. The editor notes soberly that the ideological obsession against 'socialised' health insurance is now killing the American economy.

  • Rich Bowden

    Thanks Evan….Andjam….the reference was taken from the Rampton/Stauber book "Weapons of Mass Deception" who refer readers to the following link

  • Andjam

    Ah well, no hyperlink to the editorial itself. Not that I doubt that the WaPo would write something like that.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks for the link, Rich. FAIR are consistently brilliant…

  • leftvegdrunk

    andjam, try the library.

  • Andjam

    Sure, can you give me the URL for it? 😛