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.

The bottom-up approach

The BBC director of nations and regions has called for an end to “air-conditioned journalism“, which, simply put, is related to “hotel journalism” and “mouse journalism.”

Journalists should get out of the office. Reporting political and business leaders sprouting daily drivel may be what corporate media encourages, but this is not what journalism should be about. As John Pilger told me late last year:

“…Journalism is reporting from the bottom up, not from the top down. And it seems to me that once within the system, young journalists are groomed to report from the top down, not from the bottom up. Their scepticism is aimed not at power, but at people. You hear their contempt for readers, viewers and listeners; they call them apathetic and say they don’t care and all they’re interested in is the footy. They rarely disparage those at the top in the same way.”

10 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    I could not agree more with with the BBC's sentiments, though they could take a dose of their own medicine.As always, Pilger is right on the money. Dahr Jamail has expresse the same sentiments with respect to reporting in Iraq.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Indeed. The BBC is, with notable exceptions, the voice of the British establishment and always has been.Wonder if Dahr Jamail will come to Australia. Perhaps I should try and organise it, now that I'm on the board of Macquarie Uni's Centre for Middle East Studies.Food for thought…

  • Wombat

    Way to go Ant. That would be awesome.

  • Rich Bowden

    Congratulations on your appointment Ant. Like Addamo, I believe it would be marvellous to hear the views of independent journos such as Dahr Jamail in Oz.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thank.I'm involved in organising a major event/conference in mid 2006 at Macquarie about the media and the Middle East. Hope to get some big guests.Watch this space.

  • Pete's Blog

    Onya AL!I suggest you invite Professor Amin Saikal from ANU along.He's a secular left Afghani-Aussie who knows all about Iran etc. In fact he was just publishing "The Fall of the Shah" just BEFORE the Shah actually fell in 1979.

  • anthony

    Just to be the voice of dissent:Why did they appoint you? You've always claimed to be a Journo, not an academic.That said, congratulations…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I was appointed because I'm a journo. The board comprises many different sorts. They wanted someone young (ish!), involved with the media and bringing a different perspective on Mid East matters.

  • Glenn Condell

    Goodonyou Antlove to see someone like Amira Hass or Neve Gordon out here, perhaps to share a stage with Hanan Ashrawi or Saeb Erekat, so that people can see for themselves that the doom and gloom, busted arse ME paradigm we are fed (and which the trolls here retail furiously) is not the only story, and that in fact the personnel needed for a mature and respectful rapprochement already exist. Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukah, a festive New Year etc to you Ant.

  • M.Y.M.C.

    And what about a bottom up approach in our own backyards?Eastern suburbs dwelling Sydney journos positively TREMBLE at the thought of heading out (south)west and getting their hands dirty talking to the 'other'.A case in point: the anglo-centric perspective of journos in the wake of the Cronulla riots. Even with well-meaning, culturally sensitive motivations…journos this week were limited to speaking to ex-cops, established academics (incuding the excellent but very European Australian Mary Kalantzis) – and we read very few Arab or Muslim Australian opinions that were given the space to be insightful and expansive!In the press's attempts to write broader opinion pieces that probe the collective, diverse subconscious of Sydney and explain the current tension – the cultural capital of journos collectively is revealed to be pretty threadbare on this issue.Unfortunately, the 'Muslim arab' bogey man remains – even in the hands of the most sympathetic media worker – a mute figure. One we must either help in a paternalistic manner, or castigate scronfully.Notable exception of the last week: Tom Morten of Background Briefing.