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.

Lit Fest in Sri Lanka is making political statement

What is the aim of a petition challenging the human rights credentials of a literary festival? Especially one held in a police state such as Sri Lanka? To foster debate, outrage and decisions. One can’t be neutral in such matters.

This story is therefore very encouraging:

Does it make sense to defend freedom of speech by calling on writers not to speak at a literary festival?

The question is being asked in Sri Lanka this week, after media freedom group Reporters Without Borders called on authors to boycott the Galle Literary Festival because of the country’s human rights record.

The campaign has seen the Paris-based group, also known by its French name Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), being criticised in Sri Lanka from the sorts of people it usually defends from repressive regimes.

RSF warned writers attending the event that by doing so they would “give legitimacy to the Sri Lankan government’s suppression of free speech.”

South African novelist Damon Galgut pulled out explicitly because of the campaign, while Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and fellow writer Kiran Desai withdrew last week for reasons which remain unclear.

But in Galle, a picturesque colonial-era fort town where the festival began on Wednesday, others including the organisers questioned the logic of targeting an independently-run festival that promotes open debate.

“To call for a boycott of the festival is an act of silencing that I find totally unacceptable,” said Sunila Abeysekara, a prominent Sri Lankan human rights and media freedom activist, during a panel discussion on Thursday.

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said it was obvious that free speech was limited in Sri Lanka, but this did not mean authors should stay away.

“My take is that the way to deal with bad speech is to talk about it,” commented the author of “Half of a Yellow Sun”, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize.

“Literature discussions are good platforms to clear the air about sensitive issues like suppression of free speech.”

The festival curator, Shyam Selvadurai, announcing Galgut’s decision to withdraw on Thursday, said: “It’s an unfortunate situation for us that Damon heeded this ridiculous campaign.

“But the festival will go on, with over 60 writers participating.”

Nonetheless some said that the boycott call had helped with publicity and raised awareness about rights restrictions in Sri Lanka.

“People are very frightened. There is a self-induced fear, not only among journalists and writers,” said Sri Lanka-based British travel writer Juliet Coombes.

“Sri Lankans like to talk about their loss of freedom in private, but not through literary works or in newspaper columns,” said Coombes.

She added that “sometimes negative campaigns like this work. I had people calling from abroad, asking about the festival, about media suppression.”

RSF, which provides legal and public support for persecuted journalists and authors worldwide, signed up US writer Noam Chomsky, India’s Arundhati Roy and Britain’s Ken Loach as well “hundreds” of supporters via the Internet.

It stood by its campaign, saying the literary festival distracted from the reality of a regime that persecuted journalists.

But RSF chief editor Gilles Lordet admitted that a boycott was “never a constructive solution”.

“It is a way of focusing attention on a country that has been forgotten after the end of the war,” he told AFP by telephone from Paris.

“Galle is one of the main tourist towns and you could imagine there that everything is fine in the country, but that’s not the reality.”

A total of 17 journalists and media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past decade and many local reporters exercise self-censorship to avoid confrontations with the authorities, according to rights groups.

Sri Lanka, ruled by arch-nationalist Mahinda Rajapakse since 2005, is under a state of emergency which gives police wide powers to detain suspects and allows the government to crack down on people perceived as dissidents.

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