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.

Nothing other than censorship

Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan, has been barred from moving to Yale University. It appears to be due to a concerted campaign by the Zionist lobby. Free speech for all, as long, of course, as you believe in the perfection of Israel and the US. Cole responded to the smear campaign with typical aplomb:

The idea that I am any sort of anti-Jewish racist because I think Israel would be better off without the occupied territories is bizarre, but I fear that a falsehood repeated often enough and in high enough places may begin to lose its air of absurdity.

And this:

These articles [written by prominent Jews to attack Cole] attempted to make my critiques of the Likud, on both sides of the Atlantic, look like an attack on American Jewry in general, which is manifestly not the case. For these people, Likud equals Israel equals Jews, so all criticism of revisionist Zionism and Greater Israel expansionism is anti-Semitic.

Extremist Zionists know that time is not on their side and must therefore lash out at those who dare question accepted “truths.” Cole deserves our support.

UPDATE: More on the Cole saga here.

UPDATE II: Cole responds to some of the smears.

  • Aaron Lane

    How is this an example of the stifling of free speech? Yale University is a private institution. It has the right to hire whomever it wants. It is not stapling Mr. Cole's mouth shut, or threatening him with death if he airs his views; it is merely not granting him tenure, and therefore the ability to use the University as a pulpit for his views.

    If a neo-conservative applied for employment at The Nation, and that magazine rejected his application on the basis of his politics, you would have no problem with it whatsoever. Why, then, the outraged howls in this case?

  • Addamo

    It's an example because by Yale's own admission, the roadblocks put up against Cole's appointment were highly unusual. He had been given the green light by the pre approvla process and then the neocons got involved, as well as the American Enterprise Institute, as well as a concerted effor tto discredit Cole in the media.

    And it's particularly notable that Douglas Feither recently being given as tenure at Georgetown University (as Professor in School of Foreign Service of all things) an appointment that was met with widespread criticism from many faculty memebers, but the appointment was argued that Feith's tenure woudl provide a diversity of opinion.

    So here we have a war criminal being given the job (who happens to be a rabbid Zionist) and one who is a critic of Israel who's only crime is that his opinions are considered controversial.

  • captain

    Douglas Feith a war criminal? Quick inform the justice department and arrest that man!! Sure, Addumbo, he doesn't have your distinguished career as a nuclear scientist of word renown, but he does have some qualifications beyond his support for Israel. I assume that is where is criminality is defined? And of course one cannot support Israel without being rabid.

    Adummmmboooo why don't you make a citizen's arrest? Go for it

  • orang

    Well captain you know how us left wingers get all hyperbolic about Iraq and the scum sucking maggots that got us there. We particularly hate "legalising" the torture thing;
    "Start with Abu Ghraib. Feith's office was in charge of Iraq's military prisons, but that's not the only reason his name keeps turning up in newspaper reports about the scandal. It was Feith who devised the legal solution for getting around the Geneva Conventions' prohibition on physically or psychologically coercing prisoners of war into talking. As a Pentagon official in the 1980s, Feith had laid out the argument that terrorists didn't deserve protection under the Geneva Conventions."

    ..further, questions on whose side is he on and why then are we there?
    "Feith served as the number three civilian in the George W. Bush administration's Defense Department, under Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Undersecretary for Policy Feith had previously served in the Reagan administration, starting off as Middle East specialist at the National Security Council (1981-82) and then transferring to the Defense Department where he spent two years as staff lawyer for Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle. "

    …Richard Perle..well what can I say

    Well he did resign at one stage, but for sure he'll be back as a "Middle East Expert" or something we can rely on for fucking us up the arse for sure.
    "Feith has been questioned by the FBI in relation to the passing by one of his employees of confidential Pentagon documents to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which in turn passed them to the Israeli embassy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating Feith. There seems little doubt that he operated in the Pentagon in such a way as to produce false and misleading 'intelligence,' that he created an entirely false impression of Iraqi weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaeda, and that he is among the chief facilitators of the US war in Iraq.

    "Feith is clearly resigning ahead of the possible breaking of major scandals concerning his tenure at the Department of Defense, which is among the more disgraceful cases of the misleading of the American people in American history."

    Will the Franklin-Rosen-Weissman investigation implicate Feith – or someone higher up in the Washington food chain? "

  • viva peace

    I think there is a lot of paranoia here. Yale is a very liberal-left university; remember, it was Yale who admitted the sub-par former terrorist. However, I would not be very happy with a HISTORY professor shoving his views on contemporary political events down my throat. If he wished to be a political pundit, rather than an historian and scholar, he should apply for a job with Foxnews or something.

  • Glenn Condell

    The Reich can't have a Reich critic in the elite academy's bosom, can it? Cole is better off out of such a place. Isn't that the joint that went to war with it's janitors? That houses the Skull and Bonesmen? They're all class and they say class matters – far more than truth it seems.

    You wonder which was the greater imperative – the need to keep a fiercely independent spirit out of the citadel, or the implied financial threats of wealthy opponents with secret clout.

    Just another American institution ethically biting the dust.

  • viva peace

    Glen Condell

    Critique of current affairs is fine. But this is not the role of the scholarly historian.

  • Addamo

    Douglas Feith a war criminal?

    Oh yeah, that’s right. No convictions right? Were charges, much less any convictions ever made against Arafat? Surely, the only logical conclusion must be that he was a man of peace right?


    What relevance could history have with current affairs right? I mean, it's not like one influences the other now is it?

    If Yale is a very liberal-left university, then try explaining how the moon bats at the American Enterprise Institute have so much influence at the place. Try explaining why leading Republican figures attend this university.

    I presume that by former “terrorist” you are referring to is Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former Taliban mouthpiece. Viva, you really got to get up to speed with the times. Did you not know that the Taliban are NOT considered terrorists by the State Department?

    However, I would not be very happy with a HISTORY professor shoving his views on contemporary political events down my throat.

    Absolutely, better stick with impartial and balanced thinkers like Dershowitz to set the high bar for telling it like it is right?

    If he wished to be a political pundit, rather than an historian and scholar, he should apply for a job with Foxnews or something.

    Viva, you seriously need to read the labels on the bottles you a drinking from. Since when did Faux news ever allow a left wing pundit air time?

  • ed squire

    Aaron Lane Jun 9th, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    How is this an example of the stifling of free speech? Yale University is a private institution.

    Call it "Yale" if you must, but don't call it a "University" if it seeks to stifle ideas and words that its donors don't like. One of the essential features of an actual university is that it allows freedom of thought and speech within its walls, irrespective of what its funders believe.

  • viva peace


    Oh OK, let's not call Yale a "university." How the hell can Yale stifle "free speech?" The only institution that can stifle "free speech" is the state.

    And pray tell us of your vast experiences at "actual" universities.

  • ed squire

    viva peace Jun 11th, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    How the hell can Yale stifle “free speech?”

    Here's how:

    [1] Get rid of staff who make comments that are unpleasing to management (or donors). This can be tricky. It usually involves one of three paths:

    [a] Find some dirt on them and sack him/her for that, even though it was for speaking "against the interests of the university."

    [b] Summarily sack the staff member for "speaking outside his/her field of expertise," knowing this is untrue; wait to see if the staff member persues it legally; let it drag out a bit to see how serious they are. If they drop it, then good; if not, then pay them out.

    [c] Make life so unpleasant that s/he wants to leave (e.g. unfavourable timetables, large classes, support and foster student complaints, start rumours about incompetance, etc.).

    [2] Don't hire staff likely to make comments that are unpleasing to management (or donors) in the first place, thus saving management the trouble of going through option [1].

  • viva peace


    Not one of those things has anything whatsoever to do with "free speech>' You are merely describing recruitment processes. As far as I am aware, Professor Cole has a huge platform to spruik his sophomoric anti-Israel bile.

  • Addamo

    sophomoric anti-Israel bile

    Except that none of it is sophomoric, but it seems to be a new wors you are fond of out fo context and over-use. Has anyone explained what it means to you Viva?

    There are all forms of censorship, both direct and indirect, official and unnoficial. One could suggest that "free speech zones" are a form of supporessing dissent, while to actually criminalising it. Of course, the mere notion of a free speech zone, implies there are zones where free speech is not legal.

    Similarly, by distorting a "recruitment processes", censorship is also enacted, albeit unoficially. Juan Cole was not denied a position because of his lack qualifications, but because his views were considered controversial.

  • ed squire

    viva peace Jun 12th, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Not one of those things has anything whatsoever to do with “free speech>’

    The purpose of the techniques is to prevent someone from speaking in a university context.

    You are merely describing recruitment processes.

    That is the means to obtain the end. It's a pretty elementary defect to not be able to distinguish between the two, nor see the connection between them. Read items in the Western canon – esp. Max Weber on the topic.

    As far as I am aware, Professor Cole has a huge platform to spruik his sophomoric anti-Israel bile.

    If you interpret his work as "sophomoric anti-Israel bile", do you think that is grounds for preventing him from lecturing to university students – i.e. censoring him on Yale's campus?