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.

More on Tony Abbott mixing with the “enemy” in Sydney

After attending a Sydney event last night with Liberal Opposition leader Tony Abbott and writer Bob Ellis (with actor Rhys Muldoon in my photo above), today’s ABC Radio AM reported on proceedings:

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Politics throws up some unlikely friendships.

Indeed it’s hard to imagine a more unusual friendship than the one between the Labor Party stalwart and speech writer, Bob Ellis, and the man who sued him for a million dollars – the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.

But friends they are and last night they got together to help promote Bob Ellis’s latest book.

It was enemy territory for Tony Abbott in inner-city Sydney but he braved the hostile crowd for a wide-ranging public discussion.

Our reporter David Mark was there.

DAVID MARK: Friday night.

Gleebooks in Sydney – the place is packed.

This is a Labor crowd.

And there reading from the pulpit is a man steeped in the Labor Party, the author and speechwriter for many a premier and prime minister, Bob Ellis.

And the subject, the other man on the stage, conservative warrior and Liberal leader, Tony Abbott.

BOB ELLIS (reading from book): Coffee with Quentin Dempster and a chat about things in Parliament House this afternoon. I put the case that our problem with Abbott is he’s so good looking…

(Laughter)

He has no bad angles and like Hawke he’ll win over women with his handsome, husky looks and cheeky male manner.

“Good looking?” says Quentin “he’s as ugly as a hatful of arseholes”.

(Laughter)

DAVID MARK: And does Tony Abbott smile? Not quite.

The crowd loves the joke at Tony Abbott’s expense. They’re not here to give him an easy time.

He’s heckled repeatedly.

TONY ABBOTT: This is almost as bad as Parliament, Bob. We’ve got cheeky interjections. Where’s the Speaker to send someone out at the appropriate time?

DAVID MARK: Tony Abbott may not have won over the crowd, but at least he got to show himself in a new light as he and Bob Ellis discussed issues ranging from Afghanistan and asylum seekers to abortion and his religious beliefs.

TONY ABBOTT: Plainly, there are a lot of people in this audience who don’t share my views but the dialogue is incredibly important. I mean, we are a civilised polity because we can talk about things and argue about things, rather than simply fight about them and ultimately shoot people over them.

DAVID MARK: And by the end there was at least some respect from audience members like Antony Loewenstein.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Abbott has a degree of nuance and I admire that, even though I disagree with everything he says.

DAVID MARK: As for his host, Labor stalwart Bob Ellis, as unlikely as it seems, there’s warm affection for the Opposition leader.

BOB ELLIS: Yes, I met him first about 15 years ago. I’ve more or less liked him since, although he sued my publisher for a million dollars and got it.

DAVID MARK: So what are the qualities, what are his qualities that you enjoy?

BOB ELLIS: Um, a lack of arrogance, a willingness to listen, a capacity to struggle with his own beliefs.

DAVID MARK: How would you, then, compare the leaders of the two major parties in Australian politics at the moment? Tony Abbott, who you admire, and Julia Gillard.

BOB ELLIS: Gillard makes a mistake every three days and will not last – has five or 15 months in her. Nobody is speaking of the Gillard era. She should be there for 20 years logically, but she will not. She has a kind of political tone deafness whereas Tony has a political acuteness. He hears, he listens; she doesn’t.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Author, speech writer and, believe it or not, all-round Labor Party figure, Bob Ellis, ending that report from David Mark.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Abbott listens to whom?  The tills ringing up damages?

    Honestly sometimes Bob loses the plot.

    But he is right about Dullard.  /she always talks like she is with a room of 3 year olds, which of course most of our media are.