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.

Will the real please Hoder please stand up?

I’ve long followed the case of famous Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan – even meeting him at a conference in Budapest in 2008 – but this latest news adds yet more layers of mystery to a man with a confused past, tough present and uncertain future:

Hossein Derakhshan, the Iranian Canadian who helped launch a blogging revolution in Iran, is on trial in Tehran, almost two years after he was arrested. According to the government-linked Fars News Agency, charges against him include working with hostile governments, spreading propaganda against the Islamic regime, and launching and managing obscene websites. The trial opened on June 23 and is expected to end shortly.

Derakhshan moved to Canada in 2001 and soon created a blog that was widely read in Iran, and among Iranian exiles. The tech-savvy Derakhshan also posted an online guide that allowed other Iranians to start their own Persian-language blogs. Thousands did. “Hoder changed everything,” says Arash Azizi, an Iranian journalist who knew Derakhshan in Tehran and recently moved to Toronto, referring to him by his nickname.

Derakhshan returned to Iran in 2004 to work for a reformist candidate, but left again and spent the next four years out of the country. He broke the Islamic Republic’s greatest taboo by visiting Israel in 2006. “I don’t care,” he wrote. “I am a citizen of Canada and have the right to visit any country I want.” But Derakhshan’s writings and public statements diverged sharply from this apparent irreverence. He became increasingly supportive of the regime, criticizing dissidents and others who suffered the Islamic Republic’s repression. In 2006, he described as genuine a confession to fuelling unrest in Iran that Iranian Canadian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo made after four months in jail. In the same column he declared that Iran had “passed the stage of state terror.”

By the time Derakhshan gave an interview to Iran’s state-run propaganda network, Press TV, in 2008, shortly before moving back to Iran, his words were virtually indistinguishable from those of a hired government spokesman. He praised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s international diplomacy and condemned Israel and the Israeli lobby in America. Many Iranian democrats were contemptuous. “What is Hoder’s role?” the London-based Iranian blogger Potkin Azarmehr asked. “Simply put, to present an acceptable face of the Islamic Republic to Western intellectuals.”

Why Derakhshan returned to Iran in the autumn of 2008 is unclear—and is hotly debated. “Given his recent role as apologist for President Ahmadinejad and his systematic defamation of human rights dissidents, Derakhshan may have assumed that he would be safe,” Payam Akhavan, a McGill University professor of international law and founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, wrote in a newspaper column. He wasn’t. Derakhshan was arrested and spent much of his incarceration in solitary confinement.

It appears he co-operated—or was forced to co-operate—with his jailers. During a mass show trial held last year after hundreds of thousands of Iranians protested the seemingly rigged presidential election, an official referred to evidence provided by a nameless “spy who is now in detention.” The biography described by the official makes it clear he was referring to Derakhshan, who allegedly described the demonstrations as part of a pre-planned, foreign-orchestrated “soft coup” designed to overthrow the government the way uprisings had done in places like Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Little verifiable information is available about the progress of Derakhshan’s own trial. His parents were not allowed inside the courtroom. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs will not say if a Canadian government official was there. Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Derakhshan is at the mercy of the regime he both defied and supported.

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