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.

Guts not rewarded

The decision of the ABC board to drop the Chris Masters investigation on broadcaster Alan Jones was a clear, political act. The ramifications are profound, not least the likelihood that the national broadcaster will be much more cautious in pursuing controversial and contentious work. Board interference is now a real possibility.

The Masters decision struck a personal note, as well. The Canberra Times reported on Saturday:

The proprietor of Australian Literary Management, Lyn Tranter, was appalled by the decision to stop ABC publication of Jonestown.

She said that last year she was in delicate negotiations about My Israel Question by Antony Loewenstein, to be published next month. The book, by a young Jewish writer, examines Zionism.

“It was very hard for me to decide between the ABC and MUP [Melbourne University Publishing].

“Thank God I went with MUP, what if the ABC board had come through and stymied it,” she said.

Ms Tranter was the agent for Dark Victory by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson, which was published by Allen & Unwin.

“They are fearless publishers,” she said.

“The ABC are going to be regarded by agents and authors as a publishing house renowned for Bananas in Pyjamas.” 

3 comments ↪
  • Don Wigan

    Too true, Ant. But think of the potential sales you've missed by not being banned by the ABC after heavy lobbying.

    Last I heard, it's not doing Chris nor Allen and Unwin any harm at all as they work out the advance orders.

    This may yet turn out to be the biggest boost to sales since the good old days of Arthur Rylah. Remember 'Portnoy's Complaint'?

    These days literary agents may need to be as canny as politicians in devious manoevres.

  • However, Antony's sales were already boosted last year when the Australian Federal member for Israel aka Melbourne Ports Michael Danby called for the book to be boycotted and/or banned when he wrote to the Israel Zionist Times aka Australian Jewish News. He also called on Melbourne University Publishing and Louise Adler not to publish the book.

    As publication date approaches, there will no doubt be calls again, from other organisations purporting to represent the Australian Jewish community, for the book not to be bought. I think it might be Danby who infamously said all of Loewenstein's supporters would fit into a phone box. If they felt that way, what were/are they afraid of??

    As Israel ramps up its actions against the Palestinians, there is a perceptible change in attitudes towards Israel and its brutal attacks against a defenceless people, and this, too will be publicity for the book and what is in it.

    Anyway, the ABC board has been made to look more and more ridiculous – which it is, with all the right wing reactionaries appointed to it – and if this is a taste of things to come – "god save the queen, for nothing will save the ABC!" with apologies to Gough!

    And sales of Chris Masters' book will probably go through the roof! Hope Antony's book will do the same!

  • viva peace

    AL

    Yes, well done from me as well. I don't agree with very much of what you write, but at least you're out there having a go. I am actually quite jealous that I am not about to have a book published. I suppose your example shows that if want it, then just get writing!