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 mood shift

Philip Weiss, The American Conservative, February 26:

The conventional wisdom seemed to be that Carter had damaged himself [after the release of his recent book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid], and badly.

But the fury has masked a quieter trend —nodding support for the president’s views across the country. The book still ranks sixth on the New York Times bestseller list three months after publication, and Carter has taken on a moral halo among progressives and realists, the shotgun marriage of the Bush years. Film director Jonathan Demme, who mainstreamed gay rights with “Philadelphia,” is making a documentary on the book tour. “NBC Nightly News” featured the former president breaking down in tears on a panel at the Carter Center when relating a story of praying to God to give him strength before he confronted Anwar Sadat at Camp David in 1978, when Carter forged an historic peace accord between Israel and Egypt.

“I think the attacks in some ways have made the book more effective,” says Michael Brown, a fellow at the Palestine Center. “It’s extraordinary, but when people oppose a book or a movie, and make a big fuss out of it, most Americans will say, ‘I want to know what this is about.’”

Some of the fury hides an old-fashioned power struggle. For the first time since the State of Israel was created in 1948, a prominent American politician has publicly taken up the cause of the Arabs, describing Israel’s practices as oppressive. Such voices are common in Europe and in Israel itself. But they are uncommon here, where staunchly Zionist voices routinely assert that Israeli and American interests are identical, a view uniformly reflected in our politics and policies. The Carter groundswell seems to represent a real political threat to that claim. A recent batch of letters to the Houston Chronicle ran three-to-one in Carter’s favor. “Can’t Israel defend itself without subjecting all Palestinians in the occupied territories to such shameful conditions?” one asked. “Nothing justifies treating an entire group of people as if they were second-class human beings.” 

10 comments ↪
  • Roslyn Ross

    The Jewish lobby has shot itself in the foot with its villification of Jimmy Carter. He is a respected former president and even if one does not agree with his politics, the reality is that Americans almost deify their presidents both in and out of office. Probably more so out of office since they can no longer do any damage. Americans like to believe their system is the best in the world and that means their presidents are exemplary …. out of office anyway.

    But beyond all this Jimmy Carter has done sterling work for human rights and justice across the world and has not lined his pockets with speaking appearances in the way that Bill Clinton and his ilk have.

    The controversy, or the villification by the Jewish Lobby, merely makes Americans want to know more. And that is a plus given the general level of ignorance in America to the world at large and their particular ignorance in regard to Palestine.

    The Jewish lobby could not have helped the Palestinian cause more if they had tried. This modern 'evil' of occupation and colonisation as carried out by Israel agains the Palestinians has been able to go on as long as it has because the average Americans simply has no understanding of the injustice involved in the establishment of Israel and the ongoing war crimes and human rights abuses carried out by Israel, with US support, for more than half a century.

    Carter's courage gives some glimmer of hope to Palestinians, at last.

  • viva peace

    Roslyn Ross

    Actually Carter is widely accepted by Americans as the worst president of the 20th century after Nixon.

    The Carter book was a tragedy of Xian fundy anti-Semitism. The book was universally canned by scholars. But scholarship and truth are not the stocks in trade of the virulent anti-Semitism that the Muslims have imported into western societies. We would all do well to learn from the disassters of France and England!

  • ej

    viva peace (sic) is a no-nothing intellectual and moral cipher. This latest contribution is a cacophony of absurdities. A parrot of the catechisms of his tribal elders, representative alas of myriand like-minded souls who keep the propaganda machine burning at the lowest level. Every intervention exposes his cretinism, but simultaneously highlights, as his ilk is multiplied through test-tube ghetto-conditions socialisation, the extent of the problem in reversing the bullshit that overlays the grotesquerie that is Israel.

  • Addamo.

    Yes EJ,

    I see you are onto Viva's trashy contributions. He feigns disinterest and contempt at any threat pertaining to Israel, but is invariably drawn to them like bees to honey.

    The so called "scholars" he refers to are themselves the subject of ridicule, and in the case of Dershowitz, outright frauds and plagiarists themselves. What he refers to as "canned" involves nothing more than a minor error encapsulated in one sentence, but exaggerated so as to ignore the issues Carter's book raises.

    In fact, during the Brandeis speech, Carter acknowledged one such error, and appologised and said the error would be corrected. When Dershowitz appeared for his rebuttal, he acknowledged that he was in agreement with pretty much everything Carter had said.

    The sad thing for shills like Viva is that Carter's book raises nothing controversial. Everything in his book has already been raised in Haaraetz and Bt'selem. His position is indefensible, becasue what he is ultimately sayin gis that Israel's hideous actions and policies are necessary for Israel's existence. Little wonder fewer and fewer Jews in the US have any attachment to Israel.

    It's ironic that the over-reaction by Viva's "scholars" has only drawn more attention to the book and driven it to best seller status.

  • E. Mariyani

    Actually Carter is widely accepted by Americans as the worst president of the 20th century after Nixon.

    Highest Rating & Lowest Ratings:

    Harry Truman, 87% & 23%

    Dwight Eisenhower, 79% & 48%

    John F. Kennedy, 83% & 56%

    Lyndon Johnson, 79% & 35%

    Richard Nixon, 67% & 24%

    Gerald Ford, 71% & 37%

    Jimmy Carter, 75% & 28%

    Ronald Reagan, 68% & 35%

    George H.W. Bush, 89% & 29%

    Bill Clinton, 73% & 37%

    George W. Bush, 90% & 28%

  • Addamo

    Actually Carter is widely accepted by Americans as the worst president of the 20th century after Nixon.

    Actually Bush is the most widely regarded as the worst president of the 20th century, and unlike Nixon, is considered the worst while still in office.

    He also happens to be the most pro Israeli president. Definitely a correlation there.

  • Roslyn Ross

    Thanks Mariyani for the highs and lows of presidents in which it is clear Jimmy Carter is far from being the 'worst.' But any student of American political history knows that Viva was just 'grabbing for straws.' Make it up if you can't find the facts seems to be the policy.

    In addition, s/he reveals him/herself as anti-muslim and bigoted by describing Carter's book as 'anti-semitic' and as 'anti-semitism' being a Muslim habit. If Carter is 'anti-semitic,' then so is Haaretz and so are the Israel Peace Groups which have said, and continue to say, exactly the same things.

    In addition, interestingly, 'anti-semitism' is not at all common in the Arab/Muslim world. Hardly surprising given that Jews and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years. It is actually more common in Europe.

    However, what Viva mistakenly calls 'anti-semitism' is actually 'anti-Israeli policy' of occupation and colonisation and this 'anti-Israel' sentiment is very prevalent in the Muslim world, probably because it is increasingly prevalent throughout the world.

    You are judged by what you do and as one of the most consistently violent occupiers and colonisers in modern history, Israel is so judged.

  • Addamo.

    Nicely put Ros,

    In truth, Viva is the worst kind of anti-Semite, given his disdain for Arabs in the region. Were he truly concerned with Israel's welfare, he would be honest about Israel's repressive and inhumane practices.

    Many like Viva remind me of little boys with this fingers in the dikes, trying to prevent leaks getting out of control. Sometimes you just have to accept that the truth is going to overwhelm you and deal with it honestly and with grace.

    By being so over in their attempt to put out fires, these ideologues are only prolonging the inevitable.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Anti-Semite? Hardly. I reject all the vile lies spread about Jews and have the greatest admiration for the fact they are the singular most impressive, successful, and intelligent ethnicity on the planet. That is why the hapless Arabs are so steamed.

    Poor dears.

  • ej

    'Anti-German? Hardly. I reject all the vile lies spread about Aryans and have the greatest admiration for the fact they are the singular most impressive, successful, and intelligent ethnicity on the planet. That is why the hapless Jews are so steamed.' [Circa 1930s]