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 letter of the week

From the Guardian, September 12:

Having finally obtained his visa from George Bush to visit the Middle East, Tony Blair must rank as one of the most unwelcome British visitors to the region in decades. This visit is too late for those Lebanese and Palestinians whose lives have been destroyed because he failed to stand up for the sort of civilised values that we in Britain used to respect and fight for.

If he had the remotest sense of shame, he would be visiting southern Lebanon to apologise for his collaborating role in Israeli war crimes, and to try to explain to Lebanese families why he was happy to condemn attacks on Israeli civilians but not on them. If he wants to regain an ounce of credibility for Britain in the region, we need positive concrete results, not smiles and handshakes.
Chris Doyle

Director, Council for Arab-British Understanding

one comment ↪
  • My own personal letter of the week…

    Sir Eric Neal,

    I refer to a Washington Post story by a Jewish Australian journalist, "Debunking the US/Australia alliance" by Antony Loewenstein. The online URL for this story is:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/needtok

    As you will see if you read the story, Loewenstein raises some important issues in regard to Australia's highly questionable support for the US invasion of Iraq. You may already be familiar with Loewenstein, the author of a new book, "My Israel Question", which closely examines the role of the pro-Zionist lobby in Australian politics.

    Not surprisingly, Loewenstein's Post article was met with some rather fierce attacks, of an extremely ad hominem nature.
    The person leading the online attacks at WaPo was signed "Dr Sue Williams". She echoed the previously discredited talking point criticisms of Mr Ted Lapkin (from the Australia/Jewish Affairs Council) and notorious pro-war blogger Tim Blair. "Dr Sue Williams" accused Loewenstein of unethical journalism and media manipulation, calling him "infantile", "hypocritical" and "cowardly". She claimed that Loewenstein "is wishing and hopng [sic] that our sons, brothers and friends get blown to pieces in Iraq and Afghanistan." She repeated that he "hopes that his countrymen will be murdered by Islamic extremists." She also repeatedly claimed that "Loewenstein thinks that Lebanon is half way between Haifa and Tel Aviv". Such language is not only puerile but also bordering on slander.

    This "Dr Sue Williams" claimed to be a media insider (with access to pre-release publishing house copies of Loewenstein's book) with "over twenty years experience" in Australian institues of higher learning. I have searched the directories of Australian universities looking for someone by this name who meets these criteria and am able to find only one person.

    Could you please confirm whether the person signing herself "Dr Sue Williams" at this WaPo URL is the same Ms Sue Williams (not a "Doctor", according to your online directory of staff) who works at Flinders University (English Postgraduate Students, Soc Sc Sth, Room 365S, extension 13556)? If so, please advise whether Flinders University supports her efforts on behalf of the pro-Zionist lobby in Australia? Is this part of her paid work for the University? And if not, please advise what action you will be taking in this regard.
    If this is not the same Sue Williams, perhaps you should let your employee know that someone appears to be impersonating her online for questionable purposes.
    I realise that this email itself may be considered a form of ad hominem attack, but we live in a time when those granted the privileges of authority are sorely abusing them. Many thousands are dead, while whole countries are decimated and treaties that guarded the peace for half a century are being tossed in the toilet. Our world is hurtling towards a violent, Orwellian future based on calculated lies, political protection rackets and orchestrated lobbying of the type perpetuated by Australia's pro-Zionist lobby, among others. Influential minorities scream for war, war and more war, while the peace-loving majority remain silent, either by choice or by media-fed ignorance.
    In such a climate, I hope you will treat this email with the seriousness it deserves.

    Sincerely,

    "gandhi" http://bushout.blogspot.com