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.

Danby update

Following the publication of a letter by Federal Labor MP Michael Danby in this week’s Australian Jewish News (for background and more information, see here), Crikey has placed this story of free speech as one of its top yarns of the day:

4. Loewenstein v Danby — Australia’s debate over Israel

By Crikey reporter Sophie Vorrath

There’s an ugly fight brewing in Australia’s Jewish community over a controversial new book by Sydney-based journalist Antony Loewenstein. Due for publication by Melbourne University Press next May, Loewenstein’s as yet unfinished, untitled book is already attracting feverish criticism for its take on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Leading the attack on the book is the federal member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby. In a scathing letter published in Australian Jewish News this week, Danby says he wants no part in Loewenstein and MUP’s Louise Adler’s “propaganda tract,” which he said was an attack on the mainstream Australian Jewish community.

Danby said he had taken this stance after questions he got from Loewenstein made his views on the issue “blatantly obvious.”

“MUP should drop this whole disgusting project. If they proceed, I urge the Australian Jewish community, and particularly the Australian Jewish News, to treat it with dignified silence. That is our best response. If, God forbid, it is published, don’t give them a dollar. Don’t buy the book.”

So why has a book by a relatively little-known journalist that’s not even finished got Danby so fired up? And is calling for it to be boycotted appropriate behaviour for a parliamentarian?

Loewenstein told Crikey this morning it was “incredibly disappointing” that Danby would try to “dictate policy” to a publisher. It’s a matter of free speech, he said: “It should be acceptable for a Jew or anyone else to criticise Israel or any other country.”

“The attitude is ‘there’s one line and one perspective (on the Israel/Palestine conflict) and if you dare to question it then look out’,” said Loewenstein, “it’s like ‘this is a war and there’s no room for dissent’.”

MUP’s Louise Adler, who graduated from Melbourne school Mount Scopus the same year as Danby and was given “faint praise” in his letter, told Crikey the political views Michael Danby ascribed to her in the letter were “palpable nonsense and pure invention.”

Adler said she was proud of MUP’s 80-year history of independent publishing and its mandate to publish books of public interest, and “dismayed” that a publisher like AJN “gives space to proposals to boycott ideas.” Danby’s proposal, she said, was “inimical to the central Jewish values of tolerance and open debate.”

Crikey called Michael Danby for a response, but we’re still waiting for him to get back to us.

22 comments ↪
  • Antony Loewenstein

    The above comments were spam and deleted.

  • Prudence

    Go Antony! Debate about Israel and Palestine has long been dominated by a group of people who can not stand for any questioning Israel's actions. Its about time this imbalance was addressed. Wouldnt John Howard say Danby was displaying un-Australian values by trying to stifle your publication?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks Prudence, appreciated.Howard should certainly say that about Danby but, of course, he'll stay silent. Howard, Costello, Nelson et al reserve their bigotry for the 'other', not 'fine' MPs, even on the ALP side.I reckon you'll like my book. Keep reading my blog, too.

  • Glenn Condell

    Keep your chin up Ant. More people support you than would be willing to advertise the fact.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks Glenn, I'm sure you're right.My chin is up, to be honest. Danby's motives are so transparent. Great publicity for the book. We soldier on…

  • Jozef Imrich, Esq.

    Tim Dunlop put it best: 'Michael Danby is entitled to his views. But if he has problem with Antony's book he should excercise his right to free speech and criticise it (preferably once it's, you know, written) and not try and Curtail Antony's.' Undue influence

  • leftvegdrunk

    Michael who?

  • Vasco Pyjama

    Oh dear. Best of luck, Antony. But as Glenn said, tis great publicity.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks, been a mad day. and I'm trying to get my book manuscript in next week. I'm on track. And yes, publicity is priceless…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Blair is continuing to give you publicity, too. Irony?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Blair has his own issues. I won't dare add to them…

  • evan jones

    Love your Google ads for Israel down the side. Buy real estate in Israel! Wars of Israel! Feel like home in Tel Aviv! Where does a goy sign?

  • Rich Bowden

    "Little-known journalist?"Not if Danby has his way…..is he your publicity agent Antony?Congratulations on firing up the debate in this country….

  • Antony Loewenstein

    As for the Google ads re Israel, it's interesting, hey? Such is the randomness of Google ads.As for the "little known journalist" line, Crikey thought that was the best way to put it – though acknowledged that I'm kinda well known in some circles – because it showed how anti-democratic and threatened Danby really is.

  • leftvegdrunk

    I agree with Rich. Let em huff and puff. Some of us are glad the debate is being heard, no matter who it involves. Long overdue.

  • K

    Danby is yesterday's man. Ant is tomorrow's. Proud to know you, AL. Hang in there. Any way at all I can help, let me know. Jack Robertson13/171 Rowntree StreetBALMAIN NSW 204102 9810 6816

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Dr R,As ever, thanks. We all know this is just beginning.And we all know what Danby is afraid of…

  • Shabadoo

    Jack Robertson wins comment of the week…all together now: "The future be-longs to meeeeeeee!"

  • Jon

    The whole incident reminds me albeit on a far, far milder scale to the recent Dershowitz/Finkelstein controversy concerning Dershowitz's attempt to intimidate the Univ. California Press from not publishing Finkelstein's book.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The Dershowitz/Finkelstein stoush is indeed relevant – and yes, thus far, on a much smaller scale.Danby sees Dershowitz as a hero, so it's not surprising he's trying to utilise similar techniques.Of course, Dershowitz failed miserably in his efforts…

  • Woodge

    Perhaps the Honourable Mr Danaby M.P. should the read book, before casting the first stone? Just a suggestion. Look forward to buying my copy in May.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks Woodge. Crazy concept, hey?Watch this space, the coming week/s will bring more on this saga…