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.

#LeftTurn receives friendly embrace

Here’s a great review of #LeftTurn by Simon Butler in Green Left Weekly:

Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left
Edited by Antony Loewenstein & Jeff Sparrow
Melbourne University Press, 2012
RRP $32.99

In the past few years, the world economy has fallen into its deepest crisis for eight decades with no end in sight, shocked scientists have reported new evidence the climate is changing quicker than feared and opinion polls have reflected widespread anger and cynicism with mainstream political parties openly tied to business interests.

There are fewer reasons to be confident of a rosy capitalist future than ever before. Yet in Australia, the left has not made any big political breakthroughs. Business, and politics, as usual seems entrenched.

This is the premise of Left Turn, a new selection of political essays edited by Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow. The book is an attempt to launch a wider discussion about the unusual period we’re in, where “crisis stalks the old political order and yet no new alternatives seem possible”.

Loewenstein and Sparrow reflect on the contradiction between the few thousand people who took part in Australia’s Occupy protests last year and the very high public sympathy (up to 69%) for Occupy’s radical message that our economic and political systems have been captured by the richest 1%.

They say Occupy had such wide support because “capitalism’s accomplishments no longer seem distinguishable from its failings … If the times feel apocalyptic, the widespread unease about what’s to come does not translate into an enthusiasm for the status quo, since it’s in this very present that we discern, however dimly, the shape of the future that scares us.”

Loewenstein and Sparrow say this situation demands an alternative to the status quo. Left Turn doesn’t offer a single alternative view, but many.

The selection begins with a sharp analysis of Australia’s climate change dilemma by Tad Tietze and Elizabeth Humphreys. They say the mainstream environmental movement’s decision to endorse the Labor government’s carbon trading scheme has led it to become “a cheerleader for an unpopular and ineffectual neoliberal policy”.

Tietze and Humphreys say the better option is the one “most quickly ruled out by politicians [and] also the simplest and most likely to work: a commitment to consciously and collectively plan how society must change to meet this great challenge”.

Jeff Sparrow compares the Occupy movement with the summit-hopping anti-corporate movement that reached its high point ten years earlier under the slogan “another world is possible”. The anti-corporate movement petered out within a few years, but Sparrow says there are good reasons to think Occupy will have a longer-lasting impact.

He says: “The Occupy Wall Street slogan ‘we are the 99%’ contrasted the immiseration experienced by ordinary people with the spectacular wealth of a tiny minority … It reflected, in other words, an important shift from the movement of ten years earlier …

“The possibility of another world doesn’t necessarily imply anything about how that world might be created, whereas the recognition of a fundamental divide between neoliberalism’s beneficiaries and its victims has obvious political ramifications.”

Larissa Behrendt remarks on the empty symbolism and top-down paternalism that now dominates the Labor party’s approach to Aboriginal affairs. She says: “The idea of black empowerment that was so central to the politics of the Tent Embassy is still relevant today — and still confronting to governments.”

Tracker managing editor Chris Graham blasts White Australia’s hypocritical obsession with blaming Aboriginal people for creating their own problems: “Aboriginal Australians have no chance of pricking the conscience of a First World nation whose criminal indifference allows a level of violence to be waged against Aboriginal people that has led to a mortality rate equivalent to sheep in a paddock.”

Equal marriage rights activist Rodney Croome challenges the ideas of “progressive” opponents of marriage equality, who say lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people should not campaign for the right to marry because marriage is a conservative and oppressive institution.

“Marriage equality began as a grassroots campaign,” Croome says, “with the demand coming from the bottom not the top, and has often taken professional gay advocates by surprise just as much as established political elites.”

Palestine solidarity campaigner Kim Bullimore explains why the international boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel’s military occupation is justified and answers the corporate media’s baseless claim that BDS is anti-Jewish.

Guy Rundle looks at how capitalism constantly shapes and reshapes our concept of time and the spatial environment. He urges the left to challenge to the right’s widely-accepted notion that freedom amounts to restricted consumer choices in the supermarket aisle.

Refugee advocate Pamela Curr exposes the grubby politics of fear and panic that defines Australia’s mainstream political debates about the rights of refugees. Tom Bramble examines the Australian labour movement’s militant past for evidence that a new, radical union upsurge is possible today.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon looks back on the past 20 years of the Greens, which has now risen to third party status in Australia. She says the future growth of the party will depend on it holding on to its democratic internal culture: “It is the [Greens] members’ sense of involvement and ownership of the process and policies that lays the basis for success.”

Two essays in Left Turn deliver some stinging attacks on the mainstream media. Antony Loewenstein remarks on the West’s “journalistic and political culture that rewards loyalty to an establishment class without accountability”.

Wendy Bacon says media activists should support and help widen the reach of progressive, alternative media, while still “taking every opportunity to get the message out through the existing media”.

Left Turn also includes essays by novelist Christos Tsiolkas, human rights lawyer Emily Howie, Fear of a Brown Planet comedian Nazeem Hussain, Overland magazine’s Jacinda Woodhead and Marxist academic Rick Kuhn.

The selection of essays in Left Turn is broad enough that all readers across the left spectrum — from reformers to revolutionaries — will find at least something to agree with. The essays are lively, well-written and often provocative.

Put together, Left Turn is important contribution from people serious about building a left alternative to a social system that today concentrates 40% of the world’s wealth in the hands of just 500 corporations, while it condemns billions of people to miserable poverty.

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