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Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe

"A keenly observed and timely investigation into rampant resource plunder, privatized detention centers, and an array of other forms of corporate rapacity on four continents.” – Naomi Klein

Crisis, what crisis? How governments and corporations profit from disaster.

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.


  • “Chilling study, based on careful and courageous reporting, and illuminated with perceptive analysis, helps us understand all too well the saying that man is a wolf to man.”
  • “A journey into a world of mutated economics and corrupt politics that we ignore at our peril.”
  • “The forces of disaster capitalism are increasingly on the defensive, but their attacks on the global commons have expanded in the years since I wrote The Shock Doctrine. I am very grateful that Antony Loewenstein has brought his meticulous reporting to this subject, and the result is a keenly observed and timely investigation into rampant resource plunder, privatized detention centers, and an array of other forms of corporate rapacity on four continents. This book will serve as a potent weapon for shock resistors around the world.”
  • “A devastating, incisive follow-up to Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine.”
  • “Antony Loewenstein offers us a superb description of the diminishing power of national governments and international organisations to exercise power in the modern world”
  • “Our economic system now depends upon transforming emergency relief, incarceration and the processing of asylum seekers into profits… [an] unnerving and convincing book”


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