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.

Strike back

The seemingly endless controversy over my forthcoming book on Israel/Palestine continues in today’s Australian Jewish News (AJN):


PROFESSOR Douglas Kirsner has entered the debate on behalf of Michael Danby, justifying his attempt to prevent the publication of Antony Loewenstein’s book next year. Kirsner’s justification is that the author has taken a range of activities against the interests of Israel.

If we are to limit our reading to authors who support our views, or even to writers who are not too strenuously opposed to them, the result would be to deprive all of us of significant intellectual stimulation, and would damage the cause of free speech.

If that is Kirsner’s choice, he is entitled to express it, but he wrote on behalf of B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation Commission. As a long-time member of that organisation, I resent its use to promote actions calculated to interfere with freedom of speech.

Norman Rothfield
Fairfield, Vic


I CANNOT comment on either Professor Jacqueline Rose’s book or Antony Loewenstein’s without reading them. But I can observe the information that is available.

I’m baffled as to how a scholarly practitioner such as Professor Bill Rubinstein (AJN 9/9) can compare Antony Loewenstein with Noam Chomsky. Has he ever read what Professor Chomsky has written?

“The only feasible and minimally decent solution is along the lines of the international consensus… a two-state settlement on the international border (Green Line), with ‘minor and mutual adjustments’… There has never been a legitimate proposal for a democratic secular state from any significant Palestinian (or of course Israeli) group.

“One can debate, abstractly, whether it is ‘desirable’. But it is completely unrealistic. It is understood that this would soon become a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority, and with no guarantee for either democracy or secularism.”

This is actually not a million miles from Michael Danby’s publicly-stated view. It is a long way from Loewenstein’s preferred option of a one-state solution.

It is difficult for me to take the rest of Professor Rubinstein’s comments seriously if he gets the elementary details wrong.

Sol Salbe
Maidstone, Vic

[Ed: I have indeed suggested a one-state solution as the ideal way to solve the conflict, however I strongly support a two-state resolution in the short to medium term.]

UPDATE: Also in this week’s AJN, Julia Irwin, the federal Labor MP for Fowler, tells a few home truths about the Israeli government and its treatment of the Palestinians. Unsurprisingly, Kim Beazley and the paper itself dismiss her as “arguably antisemitic.”

I’ve never met Irwin, but I strongly suspect she is nothing of the sort. Questioning the motives of the Israelis – after generations of duplicity – should be encouraged in a democracy. Or indeed, the motives of the Palestinians. Once again, is Israel’s position within Australia so insecure that one parliamentarian has the power to rattle people this much?

  • leftvegdrunk

    That's an excellent letter from Sol Salbe.

  • David

    Antony,I've been following the battle over your upcoming book. The similarities to the campaign against Norman Finkelstein's _Beyond Chutzpah_ waged over here in America are remarkable. And judging from links you have posted to items in AJN, such as the recent thuggish attempt at the intimidation of Julia Irwin, it seems that Australia's Zionist movement is fully the match for America's in extremism. I fully expect to start hearing reports of uniformed Betar troopers. But I hope you will remember that the Finkelstein case turned out well in the end, and keep your spirits up.