Boosterism is the act of "boosting," or promoting, one's town, city, or organization, with the goal of improving public perception of it. Boosting can be as simple as "talking up" the entity at a party or as elaborate as establishing a visitors' bureau. It is somewhat associated with American small towns. Boosting is also done in political settings, especially in regard to disputed policies or controversial events. The term has, in general, a negative connotation.

During the expansion of the American and Canadian West, boosterism became epidemic as the leaders and owners of small towns made extravagant predictions for their settlement in the hope of attracting more residents and not coincidentally inflating real estate prices.

The 1871 humorous speech "The Untold Delights of Duluth", delivered by U. S. Representative J. Proctor Knott, lampooned boosterism. Boosterism is also a major theme of two novels by Sinclair Lewis—"Main Street", published in 1920, and "Babbitt", published in 1922. As indicated by an editorial that Lewis wrote in 1908 entitled "The Needful Knocker," boosting was the opposite of knocking. The editorial explained, "The booster's enthusiasm is the motive force which builds up our American cities. Granted. But the hated knocker's jibes are the check necessary to guide that force. In summary then, we do not wish to knock the booster, but we certainly do wish to boost the knocker." [Quoted in Schorer, M.: "Sinclair Lewis: An American Life", page 142. McGraw-Hill, 1961.]

ee also



External links

*"The Promised Land", by Pierre Berton
*" [
] " by Sinclair Lewis
* " [ The Untold Delights of Duluth] "

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • boosterism — ☆ boosterism [bo͞os′təriz΄əm ] n. the practice of boosting or promoting a city, resort, etc …   English World dictionary

  • boosterism — /booh steuh riz euhm/, n. the action or policy of enthusiastically promoting something, as a city, product, or way of life: boosterism about the latest world s fair. [1910 15; BOOSTER + ISM] * * * …   Universalium

  • boosterism — noun Promotion of a city, organisation, etc. in order to improve public opinion. Urban boosterism has a long tradition in the United States …   Wiktionary

  • boosterism — təˌrizəm noun ( s) : the activities and attitudes typical of boosters (sense 2) natives deeply in love with their environment with more sincerity than boosterism Al Hine …   Useful english dictionary

  • boosterism — noun Date: circa 1913 the activities and attitudes characteristic of boosters …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • boosterism — n. enthusiastic support, zealous promotion …   English contemporary dictionary

  • boosterism — noun chiefly N. Amer. the keen promotion of a person, organization, or cause. Derivatives boosterish adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • boosterism — boost·er·ism …   English syllables

  • boosterism — boost•er•ism [[t]ˈbu stəˌrɪz əm[/t]] n. cvb the action or policy of enthusiastically promoting something, as a city, product, or service • Etymology: 1910–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • boosterism — /ˈbustərɪzəm/ (say boohstuhrizuhm) noun the systematic promotion of one s city, state, or organisation. {US booster a fan or supporter + ism} –boosterist, noun …   Australian English dictionary

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