Review of 'Fire Alarm', Michael Löwy, Verso £16.99
Michael Löwy provides a detailed yet accessible discussion of one of "unclassifiable" philosopher Walter Benjamin's most important texts. Benjamin was a Marxist philosopher who was also drawn to Jewish messianism, the concept of a redemptive messiah. In interpreting his Theses on the Concept of History, Löwy stresses that Benjamin's work should be regarded as a "fire alarm" warning of a terrible catastrophe. In the 1940 theses, written just before Benjamin's failed escape from fascism, this was most obviously the triumph of Nazism in Europe.