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.

And it continues

The saga over the publication of my forthcoming book on Israel/Palestine continues today. Federal Labor MP Michael Danby responds to Crikey. For background information on the controversy, read this, then this.

Danby misses the point entirely in his letter. He claims he has “made no attempt to censor Mr Antony Loewenstein, or anyone else.” Er, how else to read this line from his original letter? “MUP should drop this whole disgusting project.” Furthermore, it is revealing that he thinks he has the right to question the publishing decisions of my publisher MUP. His expertise now clearly extends way past the taxing duties of representing Melbourne Ports. It’s encouraging to see the esteemed MP likes to presume the contents of my book before it has been published.

Watch this space for more developments in the coming weeks/months.

29. Australia’s Israel debate — Danby hits back

Last Friday Crikey ran a story about a letter Federal Labor MP Michael Danby wrote to the Australian Jewish News calling on the Jewish community to boycott a book by journalist Antony Loewenstein. Today Danby responds:

Your story is headed “Danby’s silly attempt at censorship.” This is very misleading. I have made no attempt to censor Mr Antony Loewenstein, or anyone else. Mr Loewenstein is entitled to his opinions, and to publish them.

What I have done is to exercise my right to criticise his views, which I find abhorrent, and to urge people not to reward those views by buying his book. Readers are free to reject my advice.

I don’t need to read Mr Loewenstein’s book to know what he thinks. He has described himself as “a Jew who doesn’t believe in the concept of a Jewish state,” which he calls “a fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist idea from a bygone era.” He has described the Australian Jewish community as “vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic” and as “incapable of hearing the true reality of their beloved homeland and its barbaric actions.” (These quotes appear at Mr Loewenstein’s own website.)

As a representative of mainstream, moderate Jewish opinion, who supports both Israel’s right to exist and defend itself and the right of the Palestinian people to a viable state, I find such opinions disgusting, and I did no more in my letter to the Jewish News than express that disgust. The response from the Jewish community to my comments has been overwhelmingly positive.

Finally, I am curious to know why Melbourne University Press thinks it is appropriate to be publishing two anti-Israel books at a time when Israel is making such a painful withdrawal from Gaza, when we have a new and more moderate Palestinian leadership and when the prospects for peace are improving. I can only conclude that someone at MUP has an axe to grind on this subject.

UPDATE: Phil Gomes offers insights into the latest Danby letter:

“How does Danby know how many books about Israel MUP has in development? Why is it inappropriate for a publisher to have them in the pipeline? And what do Israel’s moves in Gaza have to do with when a book is or is not published?

“Danby still has not really given us any answers or insights on any of this or the supposedly offensive questions Loewenstein originally posed to him, and continues to attack the publishers with a veiled reference of “an axe to grind” at MUP, which, in this fight, is a seriously coded term that might be interpreted as an accusation of anti-Semitism.”

24 comments ↪
  • Savvas Tzionis

    I have it on good authority that Michael Danby is ,technically, not even Jewish!!!He is only a quarter Jewish from his paternal grandmother and since it has to come from your mother, he misses the cut!!

  • TimT

    Furthermore, it is revealing that he thinks he has the right to question the publishing decisions of my publisher MUP.Damn right! He should accept everything MUP publishes unquestioningly! There are too many people in the world who think they can just, like, have an opinion on matters like this. Cretins!

  • Comical_Ali

    In the comments section of his last read thread on the issue (which I just read) — one person compared the situation to Finkelstein/Dershowitz in the US and Lowenstein proudly agrees.So Antony, in the tradition of following in the path of FInkelstien — will your up and coming book contain references to the Holocaust industry/Holo-hoax? WIll it contain any of that "extensive historical research" (as Chomsky and Finkelstien brand Holocaust denial). And I wonder if your mates at the Adelaide insitute are already promoting your lastest work? Just like they promote FInkelstein who is also supported by other white supermacist racists ( David Duke to name but a few) ….and concidentially you.

  • leftvegdrunk

    What right does the Minister for Melbourne Ports have to comment so harshly on a sensitive issue like this? What did Howard say when Church leaders like Pell wanted to have a say on industrial relations reform? Danby should stick to what he knows – there are plenty of better qualified individuals out there who can take Ant to task if they see fit. Danby is a politician – a mouthpiece for someone else. Why don't they just speak for themselves.TimT, that's a pathetic attempt, mate.

  • evan jones

    Where is this tangible support by Danby and his 'mainstream, moderate Jewish opinion' for the 'right of the Palestinian people to a viable Palestinian state'? Danby immediately proceeds to the claim that 'the prospects for peace are improving'.Pure hyperbole.As for the above anonymous commenter's denigration of Finkelstein and Chomsky, two Jews or heroic stature in their fight for universal human rights – contemptible beyond measure.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    You've got to be hitting the right chords to elicit such a response! Well done Antony.The criticism reminds me of those op eds decrying Chomsky you see from time to time. The newspapers that run these critiques rarely, if ever, publish anything written by Chomsky, but are quite happy to publish rebuttals. Always a tell tale sign when someone is critical of a book they haven't even read yet.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Danby sees himself as the representative of the Jewish community in Melbourne and Oz. He doesn't like anybody questioning his predictable positions.Sorry, Michael, no such luck.And, thanks for the support, guys. Much appreciated. My book will speak for itself and I dearly hope that people will judge it on its merits. And not try to censor a work BEFORE it's out.

  • Comical_Ali

    Yes embracing Holocaust denial supporting white supermacist, racist neo-nazis and funding + promoting their work is part and parcel of "fighting for universal human rights." Hardcore leftists (whilst using Orwellian newspeak to call anyone whom they disagree with "racist") may deny it, but they are more than willing to go to bed and unite with not just 7th century Islamo-facists, but racist white supermacist neo-nazis in their hatred of Jews, the US, capitalism etc. Orwell had your type in mind, when he lambasted leftit-wing extremists for siding with Hitler's third Reich.And not much has changed since then — what Orwell said over sixty years ago is unfortunatley very relevant today.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Er, I'm like Hitler, or Stalin or is it Saddam?I'm confused. Back to the book.I really wonder if people like Comical Ali read what they've written, take a step back and a deep breath. If he wasn't so serious about his delusions, it would be hilarious.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical Ali, what have you been smoking? And why don't you get your own blog? Then we can CHOOSE when we have to see your vitriolic nonsense.

  • TimT

    Quote 1….it is revealing that he thinks he has the right to question the publishing decisions of my publisher MUP.Quote 2Danby sees himself as the representative of the Jewish community in Melbourne and Oz. He doesn't like anybody questioning his predictable positions.Sorry, Michael, no such luck.Hmmm ….

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Game. Set. Match.Some people never seem to have a problem with censorship. Oh, I forgot, we're at war.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Which lobby group are you with, TimT?

  • TimT

    You contradicted yourself and you know it, Antony. This blows your hysterical claims of 'censorship' right out of the water.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I contradicted myself? Whatever. Mate, if that's the best you can do – and you can't understand the underlying agenda – it's best you stay sucking on the Blair tit for a little longer…

  • Comical_Ali

    Just a simple question – are you denying that Chomsky and Fimkelstein both promoted Holocaust denial, Neo-Nazi literature, associated with Neo-Nazis and shared public forums with rabid racists and anti-semities?comparing you to Hitler and Stalin? Dont even flatter yourself.As for your book, have the Adelaide Institute been promoting it on their website yet?

  • Comical_Ali

    "what have you been smoking"…"why dont you get your own blog"…"which lobby group are you with"All very revealing.As for lobby groups – he might be from the one with the most oil.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Comical – the best way to describe your madness – the less said the better. Chomsky and Finkelstein are brave souls, standing up to bigoted little trolls like yourself. Have they shared a stage with anti-Semites and Nazis? Probably. Have they been praised by them, too? Yes. If you can't do better than simply accuse somebody because Nazis love their work – hello? far right Christian nutters love Bush – then there ain't much more I can say…Your lack of nuance is hilarious. As is your ignorance of….(insert word here.)But, you're right, WE'RE AT WAR! don't question official dogma. It must get so tired defending the indefensible day in, day out….Bye…. forever…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    On reflection, I don't know why I even bothered responding. I've learnt my lesson…What can one say to a faceless man with brains the size of Bush's inverted claw?

  • Comical_Ali

    Are brave souls standing up to bigoted trolls like myself…but when hit with the question "have they shared the stage with neo-nazis" you answer "probably." Pretty pathetic, Antony.And the quetion wasnt really centered around whether "Nazis love their work" the crux of my question was — do you deny that they promoted and participated in activley propogating white supermacist propaganda and Holocaust denial?For someone who denied that 1 million people were massacered in Cambodia…I'm sure Chomsky is a brave soul who fights for universal justice with no sinister Stalinist motives.Far right christians loving Bush? You sure about that — <a href="http://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/flierarchive2005.htmlhttp://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/flierarchive20… />Sorry for getting you all upset.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Not upset. Just sad…The Chomsky is a "Stalinist" line is about as old as the hills. And false. But it's convenient to smear one of the greatest minds in the world. Besides, who do you admire? Let me guess…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Hey Ant, I'm starting to think that this is a waste of time. Shall employ an "ignore" policy from here on in.Really, in this day and age who has time to waste on bullshit like that? I struggle to log in, read, and make a couple of comments a day, let alone carry on like that. Do these idiots have jobs? Or lives? Keep on blogging, Ant, and don't feed the carrion. They'll eventually squawk somewhere else.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks DBO.I'm agree, I'm moving on and thanks for your support.

  • Comical_Ali

    pretty pathetic that you are unable to answer a very simple yes/no asnwer. Tne closest to an answer as we can get is accusssations of "Smearing one of the greatest minds in the world…" pretty revealing stuff that speaks for itself.But dont be sad and take DBO's advice…its the best way to aviod making yourself look like a fool and salvage some credibility.