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 ?
Unwilling to return to what National Security Advisor Walter Rostow called the "tenuous chewing gum and string arrangements" established after Suez, the Johnson administration sought Israel's withdrawal from the territories it had occupied in exchange for peace settlements with its Arab neighbors.
Ten notes in a row cite an article by Walter Rostow, again with no clue as to where Sion found the information in the article.
I had met George Bundy, Walter Rostow, young Arthur Schlesinger [all of whom went to Washington as Presidential advisers], and they had a form of academic gamesmanship which I had to learn how to penetrate.
Winand devotes an entire chapter to explaining the views of Kennedy administration officials, including George Ball, Walter Rostow, and McGeorge Bundy, and her meticulous descriptions provide a useful basis for understanding the administration's actions.
Economist Walter Rostow was swept up by the fantasy that the rapid growth caused by these very unusual circumstances was normal and could continue forever.
Walter Rostow, one of Kennedy's advisers for national security affairs, explains that, "had President Kennedy lived, he would have been forced to follow the same course toward escalation of the Vietnam War that President Johnson did, and possibly would have done so earlier.
As such, Good's analysis provides a powerful challenge both to economistic Marxism and to the historiography of Gerschenkron, Walter Rostow, and others, in which political outcomes depend more or less causally upon economic developments.