a fellow traveler

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a fellow traveler

Someone who identifies with or is sympathetic to the aims or ideology of a political movement or organization, but is not a formal or full member of it. Used especially in the 1950s in reference to those suspected of being communist sympathizers. In my grandfather's day, if someone accused you of being a fellow traveler, it was often to derail your career completely. Despite having a mark against him as a "fellow traveler," he still managed to remain at the Hollywood elite.
See also: fellow, traveler

a fellow traveller

A fellow traveller is someone who supports the aims of an organization but is not a member of it. Note: `Traveller' is spelled `traveler' in American English. Although something of a critical fellow traveller, Sampson was very interested in the party.
See also: fellow, traveller

fellow traveler

Someone sympathetic to the beliefs and activities of an organization but not a member of that group. The phrase originally applied to people in the early days of the Soviet Union who supported the Russian revolution and the Communist Party but were not members. Communism was popular among many American intellectuals during the 1930s and '40s, but following World War II, this country's attitude toward the Soviets changed in light of Stalin's purges and revelations of espionage. Accusations that Soviet sympathizers had infiltrated our government and military led to congressional investigations, and the phrase “fellow traveler” was used to label those accused of “un-American” activities or even just “Communist dupes.” Many such people found themselves blacklisted or otherwise persecuted. A rarely used vestige of the phrase now applies to anyone who agrees with any viewpoint or faction but does not publicly work for it. The Soviet Union named its early space satellites “Sputnik,” the Russian word for “fellow traveler.”
See also: fellow, traveler
References in periodicals archive ?
The authoritative New York Times Book Review, thinking, I'm sure, to do faithful Unc' Stan's book a kindness, sought out a Scottish fellow traveler to review it and assigned the scoundrel an entire page to that lofty purpose.
When one of my fellow travelers wore the silver ankle bracelet we gave him, he stopped traffic in Kerala.
After taking a plane trip to Norway from New York City, people receiving melatonin experienced just as much jet lag as fellow travelers given placebos, says a group led by psychiatrist Robert L.
This belief, combined with the inadvertent importation of smallpox by Columbus and his fellow travelers, devastated the indigenous population along with its entire institutional structure.
Hey, fellow travelers, consider this Y2K bug: Dates for next year's Housewares and Builders' Shows conflict.
Recent book-length studies of the controversial Nation of Islam leader have been penned by the American Jewish Committee's chief legal expert on anti-semitism, a self-proclaimed "liberal-integrationist-feminist writer and sometimes integrationist and feminist activist," a Swedish anthropologist of religion, and the author of a guide to "etiquette in other people's religious ceremonies" To be sure, these are not exactly Islamic fellow travelers or brothers on the block.
In the 1920s some of the most gifted and popular Soviet writers, such as Osip Mandelstam, Leonid Leonov, Boris Pilnyak, Isaak Babel, Ilya Ehrenburg, and members of the Serapion Brothers, were fellow travelers.
National groups and local activists, of which I was one, seemed to be holding at bay the book burners, anti-abortionists, militarists, and a host of fellow travelers.
Although moderated by CityPASS, the company that saves travelers up to 50 percent on attraction admission costs in 11 North American cities, the bulk of City Traveler's content -- including photos, videos, stories and reviews -- is generated by fellow travelers.
The battle for bin space has sparked angry encounters between fellow travelers and with flight attendants who try to enforce carryon rules.
Upon questioning, she mentioned that in Chobe National Park, some fellow travelers had manipulated the legs of dead antelopes.
Treadwell, meanwhile, saw harmony in the wild, the bears and foxes as friends and fellow travelers.
Huntington and his intellectual fellow travelers suffer from an extreme variant of America's political bipolar disorder: If we're "us," there has to be a "them" somewheres.
Coulter's sweeping generalizations, which can't distinguish Democratic Cold Warriors from Democratic fellow travelers, have alienated even some of her usual supporters (though not Hannity).
I had already written about the history of homosexuality in America, and I knew the intensity of persecution directed not only at Communists and fellow travelers during the McCarthy era [as a young man, Rustin had joined, then repudiated, the Communist Party] but at sexual nonconformists as well.
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