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.

The other side

The following letters appear in this week’s Australian Jewish News, in response to Federal Labor MP Michael Danby’s attempt at censoring and bullying my publisher, Melbourne University Publishing and my forthcoming book on Israel/Palestine. He has failed, of course and will continue to do so. Perhaps he’s forgotten we live in a democracy. Michael, your motivations are both transparent and utterly predictable.


I HAVE not had a conversation of any substance with Michael Danby either prior to 1972 or since. It was a surprise therefore to find him slandering me in the AJN (26/8) with views that are pure invention and palpable nonsense.

Whatever conventions one might expect a politician to adhere to — accuracy might be presumed to be basic. These statements are malicious and derogatory. Irrelevance is the fate of local politicians who remain locked in to a dogmatic, insular and ultimately self-serving view of the world. Smear campaigns are normally the stuff of the gutter press.

I am surprised therefore that the AJN reproduces character assassinations without following the standard journalistic practice of checking the facts.

As the CEO and publisher of Melbourne University Publishing, I am proud of our 80-year history of independent publishing. MUP’s mandate is to publish books of public interest.

That venerable tradition continues with the publication of such titles as Jacqueline Rose’s The Question of Zion and Antony Loewenstein’s forthcoming book Voices of Reason.

I am dismayed that a fellow publisher such as the AJN gives space for proposals to boycott ideas. Condemning a book prior to publication is appalling.

Perhaps the AJN should review the book now, nine months out from publication. Danby’s proposal is inimical to the central Jewish values of tolerance and open debate.

CEO & publisher,
Melbourne University Publishing


IT is obvious that Michael Danby, insecure in his stance on Israel and the ALP’s position on it, believes in some sort of pre-emptive strike against a position or view which might directly challenge what he espouses.

Leaving to one side what makes Danby believe that he has the right to dictate to my publisher what they should or should not publish (astounding for an MHR, and more so especially as the book is nine months away from publication), let readers of the AJN consider for themselves the questions which were posed of Danby (see the entries for Friday, August 26, on about which Danby appears so intimidated and which has prompted his outburst.

I have no doubt that mature readers of the AJN are more than capable of making up their own minds on what to read — without Danby’s dictates!

Sydney, NSW


HOW extraordinary! (“Disgusting project” AJN 26/8). Here is an MP who is a) dictating to MUP — a highly-regarded publisher — not to publish a forthcoming book; b) slamming the author of the book because the questions asked of Danby are not to his liking; c) telling the Jewish community not to buy the book, when published; and d) “urging” the AJN to have nothing to do with the book.

How democratic! And how prescient of Danby to slam a book nine months away from publication.

Melbourne, Vic

What is Michael Danby on about? His diatribe of a letter in the AJN (26/8), about a forthcoming book on the Jewish community in Australia only guarantees sales, and his sad attempt at character assassination of publisher Louise Adler and political censorship of Melbourne University Press is outrageous.

Perhaps the problem is this: I suspect the book will be critical of the predominance of conservative views in the Jewish community about the current state of Israel, Danby included.

LARRY STILLMAN [ALP member and Melbourne Ports electorate resident]
Elwood, Vic

  • evan jones

    Shades of the Ashrawi affair, after which no lessons appear to have been learned.Stillman is a beacon of detachment in a sea of intolerance.Have the mullahs at the AIJAC, etc., confronted that they might be subject to the Government's concern about Australian residents' inflammatory support for overseas terrorists?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The Ashrawi affair is so relevent to this, and yes, they ain't learnt nada. Stillman's letter is wonderful and I'm getting emails from many people, Jews and non-Jews, that share similar sentiment.As for AIJAC, their influence is waning. Believe it.

  • Glenn Condell

    If their influence is waning then you can quietly reflect with satisfaction that you've played your part in such a seachange. And will continue to do so hopefully. I can't tell you how important it is to the rest of us to have Jews visibly dissenting from the hardline.When you're done, could you duck over to America and see if you can't do the same with AIPAC?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thank Glenn.Don't worry, my book deeply examines AIPAC and its profound influence.