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.

Saga goes mainstream

The saga of Federal Labor MP Michael Danby trying to censor my forthcoming book on Israel/Palestine continues today in the Melbourne Age:

Meddler for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby championed the cause of asylum seekers in June when he declared: “They have the right of free speech.” But a few months on, the Jewish Labor MP is selective about civil liberties, given he wants to muzzle Antony Loewenstein, the author of a book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It could be the spiritual insight Danby attained while hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama that has empowered him to urge the boycotting of a book he hasn’t read and which isn’t yet published — it is due out in May. The saga has drained the ink reserves of the Australian Jewish News, with Danby attacking former Mount Scopus schoolmate Louise Adler, chief of Melbourne University Press: “If, God forbid, it is published, don’t give them a dollar.”

Adler told Diary she was puzzled that Danby’s letter contained quotes from her, given she hadn’t had a “conversation of substance” with him before their 1972 graduation or since. “He has clearly spent more time thinking about me than I have about him,” Adler said. “The central Jewish values are tolerance and open debate and his letter is proposing the reverse.”

Loewenstein is similarly bewildered because he approached Danby last year to contribute to the book and was told the MP would answer some questions, only to find out early this year that he would no longer take part. “That is his right,” the author said. Diary could not ask Danby any questions because he did not return two phone calls. It is not the first time Danby has vented sight unseen: in the Jewish publication The Review, he says of David Hare’s play Stuff Happens, “I haven’t seen the play, nor will I”, then cans it based on a review he read.

His boycott of the unwritten book has similarities to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz’s failed attempt to ban Norman Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah by writing to Governator Arnie Schwarzenegger. The Prof denied writing to Arnie, but later conceded: “It was not a letter. It was a polite note.”

Even Danby seems to be struggling with his Total Recall because he told the Jewish News that Adler “should drop this whole disgusting project”, then thundered to Crikey that he had made “no attempt to censor” Loewenstein. Not even Arnie can extricate him from this one.

6 comments ↪
  • msnada

    I always wonder about such strident opposition based on hearsay, misinformation and fear. Does Danby think the world is going to crumble, if MUP publishes this book? Is he so insecure in what he believes and thinks, that it can't stand to be questioned? Debate is a good thing, no?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    He is that insecure about his position, worried about his seat going to the Liberals and using such tactics because he sees it as his right to do so. His behaviour is matched by many others in the Jewish community here and overseas. Shut down dissent, no matter what the cost.Never underestimate the response of the general populace hearing the true situation in Israel and Palestine. Danby tries to stop this any way he can. He also knows that his position is starting to lose cache around the world, and not before time.

  • msnada

    Firstly, if he wants to shut your project down, before he has read it… based on your differing points of view…then that's censorship. He should at least own up to it, rather than dressing it up as a freedom of speech or moral rights issue. Secondly, I think that the general populace has got some idea that the current situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories/Palestine isn't fully represented. The demonisation of Islam doesn't help either.Lastly, without the ability and freedom to question and agree or disagree…what is the point? It makes for a very boring life.(I'm paraphrasing my late father here)

  • Neil

    Look at it from Danby's point of view. There's no point him trying to get on side with people to the left of him, since we have no (effective) choice but to vote for him (in the sense that our preferences will go to him, unless we act very irrationally). The threat to him comes from the right, and in his case from the Jewish right. So it is in his political interest to adopt their views. Unfortunately, similar stories can be told across just about all seats: the ALP can win only by pandering to the right so long as they are the lesser of two evils so far as the left is concerned. It's not even clear that they can do much about the situation, absent a sea change in the electorate and the media.

  • msnada

    Neil, you are absolutely correct. But with the ALP moving more to the Right…what does it actually stand for? Look at it from a branding point of view, how are they differentiating themselves from the others? I know, it's a common refrain, "they are all the same." but really, don't you think this is part of the problem- always trying to be populists. Where is the longevity or consistency in this kind of policy making? Anyway, Howard has the role of populist leader cornered, Costello can't dislodge him…maybe the ALP should try a different strategy. They may not win but they'd know what they were fighting for! (Hmmm, even to myself, I'm sounding like a naive idealist..or what did Keating say " a true believer)

  • leftvegdrunk

    msnada, I think your comment about branding is a prescient one. And we can see pretty clearly how the conservative party of tomorrow wishes to present itself.