Jean Iris Ross Cockburn ( KOH-bərn; 7 May 1911 – 27 April 1973) was a British writer, political activist, and film critic. She was a life-long member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), she was a war correspondent for the Daily Express and is alleged to have been a press agent for the Comintern. A skilled writer, Ross was also a film critic for The Daily Worker, and her criticisms of early Soviet cinema were later described as "ingenious piece[s] of dialectical sophistry." Throughout her life, she wrote political criticism and anti-fascist polemics, as well as manifestos for a number of disparate organizations such as the British Workers' Film and Photo League.

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  • Jean Iris Ross Cockburn ( KOH-bərn; 7 May 1911 – 27 April 1973) was a British writer, political activist, and film critic. She was a life-long member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), she was a war correspondent for the Daily Express and is alleged to have been a press agent for the Comintern. A skilled writer, Ross was also a film critic for The Daily Worker, and her criticisms of early Soviet cinema were later described as "ingenious piece[s] of dialectical sophistry." Throughout her life, she wrote political criticism and anti-fascist polemics, as well as manifestos for a number of disparate organizations such as the British Workers' Film and Photo League. During her itinerant youth in Weimar Berlin, Ross was a cabaret singer and fashion model. She served as the inspiration for the fictional character Sally Bowles in Christopher Isherwood's The Berlin Stories, later adapted into the long-running stage musical Cabaret and chosen by Time magazine as among the best novels of the 20th century. For the remainder of her life, Ross believed the public association of herself with the naïve and apolitical character of Bowles occluded her lifelong work as a professional writer and political activist. Sharing this belief, her daughter Sarah Caudwell later wrote a newspaper article in an attempt to correct the historical record and to dispel misconceptions regarding Ross. According to Caudwell, "in the transformations of the novel for stage and cinema the characterization of Sally [Bowles] has become progressively cruder and less subtle and the stories about 'the original' correspondingly more high-colored." (en)
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  • Jean Iris Ross Cockburn ( KOH-bərn; 7 May 1911 – 27 April 1973) was a British writer, political activist, and film critic. She was a life-long member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), she was a war correspondent for the Daily Express and is alleged to have been a press agent for the Comintern. A skilled writer, Ross was also a film critic for The Daily Worker, and her criticisms of early Soviet cinema were later described as "ingenious piece[s] of dialectical sophistry." Throughout her life, she wrote political criticism and anti-fascist polemics, as well as manifestos for a number of disparate organizations such as the British Workers' Film and Photo League. (en)
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