“Colin Ross, the Great World Gypsy”

This gushing career overview casts Colin Ross as more than a globe-trotting restless spirit: a revolutionary at heart.

By 1930, Ross had carved out a niche as a quaint, petit-bourgeois type of travelling journalist rather than the “roving reporter” embodied by Egon Erwin Kisch. But this article in Vienna’s social democratic Arbeiter-Zeitung demonstrates that at least some on the left were willing to see him as an embodiment of cosmopolitan modernity–a demonstration of Ross’s skill to be many things to many interested audiences. The newspaper admiringly calls Ross a “world gypsy”, who finds–or brings–unrest wherever he goes. To fit that image, the article focuses on his early trips without his family–the Balkan Wars, World War I, on the train with Pancho Villa) and his involvement in the German Revolution of 1918-19. The author suspects Ross to be “always on the side of the revolution”, and partly construes Ross’s later journeys to faraway places as his disappointment in the German revolution’s failing.

Joachim Schätz

j.h. Colin Roß, der große Weltzigeuner. In: Arbeiter-Zeitung: 1930 December 19.

Topic: Profession: reporter
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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