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 right to challenge Sharon

Following the continued campaign against cartoonist Michael Leunig – and false claims that he is anti-Semitic for daring to suggest Ariel Sharon is a war criminal – I wrote a letter to daily newsletter Crikey and defended the beleaguered man. It has not been published, so I reproduce it here:

“The various accusations against Michael Leunig – he’s anti-Semitic, anti-Western, anti-Australian, anti-everything this government stands for – are both predictable and intellectually dishonest. His recent cartoon depicting an ailing Ariel Sharon directing a military strike against a Palestinian ‘terrorist’ is a case in point. Many in the world may have been seduced by the myth recently created around the Israeli leader – a ‘man of peace’ etc – but the reality is far different. His mission is clear. Sara Roy of Harvard University recently observed that the ‘Gaza Disengagement Plan is, at heart, an instrument for Israel’s continued annexation of West Bank land and the physical integration of that land into Israel.” Haaretz newspaper reported last week that imprisoning 800,000 Palestinians in the northern West Bank was little more than collective punishment.

“Leunig’s cartoon is a brave demonstration that Sharon was an aging war criminal who never believed in peace with the Palestinians. Furthermore, Leunig is able, unlike many others, to separate Jews and Israelis. They are not the same thing. As an anti-Zionist Jew myself, I have received hate mail from individuals who simply refuse to accept an alternative reading of the Israel/Palestine conflict. I have experienced increased vitriol during the writing and editing of my forthcoming book on the subject.

“Dissenting historian Norman Finkelstein writes: ‘The real enemies of Jews are those who cheapen the memory of Jewish suffering by equating principled opposition to Israel’s illegal and immoral policies with anti-Semitism.’

“I’ve never met Leunig but share his position that Sharon represents a bigoted and racially exclusionary Israel. This kind of Jewish state will never prosper long-term and will, in fact, inevitably fail. Perhaps Zionists would care to think about this, rather than heaping vitriol on Leunig. But I’m not holding my breath.”

20 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    I'm sorry, but you didn't just put scare-quotes around 'terrorist', did you? Oy vey…

  • orang

    Try "The Australian", introduce it with "Although you never publish my letters….

  • violet

    Egyptian journalist Monica Eltahwya wrote an excellent and honest review of Sharon where she said:"If hatred for Sharon was based solely on the number of Arabs he has killed, then he would probably lose out to those responsible for the thousands killed in the fighting of Black September and the thousands more killed in Hama."and this…"And when it comes to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila, with which Sharon’s name is synonymous, it is important to remember that an Israeli state inquiry in 1983 found Sharon, then defense minister, indirectly responsible for the killings of hundreds of men, women and children at the refugee camps during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. An Arab inquiry has yet to hold directly responsible members of the Lebanese militias who actually slaughtered those men, women and children with their guns and knives."Calling him a war criminal is legally incorrect and also slanderous. Another example of Antony's unprofessionalism.

  • neoleftychick

    I'm sorry but whenever I hear some white bourgeois banging on about "dissent" I reach for my revolver.

  • Melanie

    Ofcourse its all the 'Zionists' doing the letter writing. You might be surprised that in the real world where people aren't so blinded by a one-sided hate there are many decent people that wrote to criticize Leunig, mostly not Jewish.

  • orang

    neoleftychick said… "I'm sorry but whenever I hear some white bourgeois banging on about "dissent" I reach for my revolver. "How about "off-white", or "honourary white"-You should be conversant with Apartheidspeak as an ardent supporter.

  • psydoc

    Antony, you are a complete idiot. Defending Leunig for characterising Sharon as a killer of the disabled is more typical of Dur Strumer, but you would not appreciate the uggliness of it all despite your international credentials as a journalist and author. Pity I missed Leunig's depiction of Leon Klinghoffer being killed by Palestinian terrorists. Did I see Leunig generate disapproval for Palestinians bombing children at pizza parlours or discos?Antony, I hope that your success in your new book is commensurate with your talent.

  • Ibrahamav

    I didn't see the claim that Leunig was an antisemite. Are you making it up? Is that what a journalist such as yourself does?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    neoleftychick said… "I'm sorry but whenever I hear some white bourgeois banging on about "dissent" I reach for my revolver."No, please neoleftychick – please don't kill yourself. It's not that bad. Even your life is worth something.

  • Ibrahamav

    Yours most likely isn't. Feel free to join your palestinian co-workers in an 'accident'.

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav,Have you ever stopped to sonsider that you could avoid embarrassing yourself & turning your second grader twity rhetoric into a public display of amusement?

  • Ibrahamav

    After all the addamo that has been spread on this blog, there is little anyone else could do to be so amusing.

  • Wombat

    Ah Ibraham,You can always be relied on to drag this blog down into the gutter. During your few days of absence, it was getting awefully civilised and polite around here.You returned just in the nik of time to re-introduce the vitriol and personal insults we have come to expect from you.Much appreciated.

  • James Waterton

    I'm back too, Addamo! For now.

  • Ibrahamav

    Just doing my best to keep the level of addamo down.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Neoleftychick, whhat definition of bourgeois are you working with?

  • Wombat

    James,As much as we disagree on just about everything, I hold your opinions in high regard.

  • orang

    me too-except the boy is sometimes misguided.

  • James Waterton

    Addamo – why, thanks! Back at you.Orang -thanks…I think.

  • Wombat

    Orang,Of course he's misguided or he'd agree with me more often. 😉