Walt Whitman Rostow

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Rostow, Walt Whitman


Born Oct. 7, 1916, in New York. American economist.

Rostow studied at Yale and Oxford universities. From 1942 to 1945 he served in the American armed forces. From 1940 to 1941, 1946 to 1947, and 1949 to 1960 he taught at various American and British institutions of higher learning. He held government positions from 1945 to 1946, 1947 to 1949, and 1961 to 1969. Since 1969 he has been a professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin.

Rostow became known for his theory of the stages of economic growth, which is opposed to the Marxist theory of socioeconomic formations. The stage theory, which serves as an apology for capitalism, asserts that in passing through a number of stages, capitalism is transformed into a society based on mass consumerism. In 1971, Rostow attempted to combine his concept of stages with an analysis of economic policy, which, he argues, is ultimately determined by a society’s level of technological development. In his works Rostow has been a militant anticommunist and the defender of a rigid policy toward the USSR.


The Process of Economic Growth. New York, 1952.
The Stages of Economic Growth, 2nd ed. Cambridge, 1971.
Politics and the Stages of Growth. Cambridge, 1971.
The Diffusion of Power. New York, 1972.


Osadchaia, I. Kritika sovremennykh burzhuaznykh teorii ekonomicheskogo rosta. Moscow, 1963. Zhirnitskii, A. “Politologiia’ po U. Rostou.” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, no. 5, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
Based on the mystique of 'development' as articulated by the likes of Walt Rostow, there is this optimistic belief that modernization will spread by 'benevolent diffusion,' and its benefits will 'trickle down,' radiating from the growth poles of the economy.
It is also true, however, that there is a general consensus that what economist Walt Rostow famously called America's take-off" into sustained economic growth occurred after 1840 (Rostow says 1843-1860), when tariffs were going down sharply.
The last developmentalist, Walt Rostow, identifies the following two preconditions for development or 'take-off: innovations and the development of 'financial, political and social institutions' (30), which would then generate a 'virtuous cycle' (31).
On June 26, 1973, Walt Rostow, who had been Johnson's national security adviser, gave the head of the LBJ library a sealed envelope to be opened in 50 years, saying: ''The file concerns the activities of Mrs.
There are countless examples that show not every developing country has to go through all the stages of development to reach what noted American economist, Walt Rostow, called "Take Off" and the "Drive to Maturity" before reaching the high plateau of the "Age of High Mass Consum-ption".
But while the book leaves something to be desired in terms of its argument, as a historical narrative it constitutes a very valuable and thorough contribution to understanding how modernization ideas furnished the foundations of American post-war development policy, whilst also supplying a series of interesting portraits of almost-forgotten figures who were intimately associated with this enterprise, such as David Lilienthal, Eugene Staley and Walt Rostow.
Jonathan Colman pays attention to the role of Johnson's principal advisors - the Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the National Security Advisers Walt Rostow and McGeorge Bundy, and the mercurial Secretary of Defense Robert S.
America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War.
on June 5th, National Security Adviser Walt Rostow called LBJ to announce that Israel had attacked Egypt.
As Walt Rostow, Johnson's National Security Adviser, put it in 1967: "I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rather more darkly, Henry Kissinger informs Nixon that Walt Rostow had called on behalf of Lyndon Johnson and "said that it is Johnson's strong view that this is an attack on the whole integrity of government.
Those general theories were expanded and articulated by Walt Rostow, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, Ragnar Nurkse, and others with particular concern for LDCs' economies.