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.

One sorry Australian tale that reveals how the country has become dangerously secretive

This story appeared recently in the Fairfax place then disappeared just as quickly. It’s an important investigation by Philip Dorling about the Australian government’s mostly secret war on supposed trouble-makers. Don’t believe a word of it. It’s largely a fishing expedition with little oversight:

The curious case of Timothy Byrnes, a complaint to ASIO and a call to the National Security Hotline provides a cautionary tale for reporters who move between the worlds of the media and government in Australia.

Byrnes, a young Canberra-based freelance journalist, took a job in March as a media officer with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy,  the same department responsible for advising the Government on the media.

It was to prove a shortlived and very unhappy experience.

After just three-and-a-half days, Byrnes was sacked for what the department described as “serious reputation and security issues” allegedly arising from his previous work as a freelancer.

When he told the story of his dismissal to Fairfax Media, senior bureacrats contacted ASIO and rang the counter-terrorism National Security Hotline to report him as a security threat.

More than 350 documents totalling more than 900 pages were subsequently produced relating to Byrnes’ fleeting public service career.

And that hillock of paperwork — released under Freedom of Information — provides a disturbing insight into government views about journalism.

Prior to his abruptly ended stint in the public service, Tim Byrnes had been working for the media and in public relations for seven years. According to Peter Fray, former editor in chief of the Sydney Morning Herald, who encountered Byrnes while editing The Canberra Times in 2008, “Tim is in love with the idea of journalism and being a journalist.”

An interest in Russian history led Byrnes to travel frequently to Russia, and in 2008 he got what he hoped would be a big break: an opportunity to go “behind the lines” with Russian forces during the short but violent conflict between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia.

Byrnes, who filed stories from South Ossetia for Fairfax Media and was interviewed via satellite by Sky News, has remained closely engaged with events in Russia and Georgia.

Early this year, he was pitching to the SBS Dateline program a story about arms trafficking through Georgia when the job opportunity as a media officer came up.

Central to the proposed documentary was a video that purported to show a meeting between US Homeland Security agents and arms dealers.

But much more work needed to be done to corroborate the evidence in the allegedly leaked video and SBS wasn’t interested in pursuing the story.  So, on March 6,  having abandoned the project, Byrnes took up what was to become his highly contentious departmental job, found for him by the recruitment agency Hays.

And, after accepting the role, he emailed his contacts in Georgia and the US, telling them that he could no longer be involved with the documentary project.

Byrnes’ first day didn’t go well.  Shortly after lunch,  feeling “unwell”,  he blamed a recent change in medication for an old head injury.

According to his supervisor, Broadband’s Media and Public Affairs Manager Jane Weatherley, Byrnes explained that he sustained the injury some years earlier in Russia in a vicious street assault.

After a day at home sick, Byrnes returned to work on March 8 and was closely questioned by Weatherley about his health and ability to handle the job.

Without medical advice, she had already concluded that Brynes suffered a continuing “brain injury” that constituted an undeclared “disability” making him unsuitable for what she described as a “highly stressful” job handling regional media inquiries about the NBN.

Accounts of their conversation differ, but it’s clear Byrnes affirmed his ability to work as a member of Broadband’s media team, citing his freelance work in a highly stressful war zone, subsequent to his head injury, as proof.

Tellingly, he also told his supervisor about his unsuccessful documentary pitch to SBS.

The latter rang alarm bells for Weatherley and concern about Byrne’s health was displaced by something quite different as she urgently emailed the department’s legal advisers to seek advice on the “possible termination” of his contract for ”potential conflict of interest”.

Byrnes recalls no warning of this action, only that Weatherley smiled at him and said that his now abandoned arms trafficking investigation would have been “a good story”.

By mid afternoon, the department’s legal team was preparing the sought advice and Weathelry was discussing Byrnes’ future employment with personnel branch head Kerri Russ and senior legal adviser Trudi Bean.

To help build a case against Byrnes, Weatherley Google searched “some videos of [Byrnes’] freelance journalistic work” between 2008-2011 and claimed in an email that he was still “an active freelance journalist.”

“I am mostly uncomfortable about the potential reputational damage to the department should SBS run the story and the conflict of him being in a media officer role,” she wrote late in the afternoon.

Byrnes’ fate was very quickly decided. A termination letter was finalised before close of business.

Late next morning, March 9, the department’s lawyers advised Byrnes was to be thanked for raising “a possible conflict of interest” and then told that, after “some consideration”, it had been decided to terminate his employment immediately.

Having read the lawyers’ proposed script, Weatherley replied: “looks good to me – cheers.”

Around midday,Kerri Russ read out the prepared script to Byrnes and handed him a dismissal letter that referred vaguely to “suspected leaked US Department of Homeland Security information about Russia or Georgia”.