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 ?
A much earlier use of the idea can be found in W.W. Rostow's book The Stages of Economic Growth (Cambridge: University Press, 1960) and his 1956 article "The take-off into self-sustained growth" (The Economic Journal, Volume 66, pages 25-48).
The paradigm shift from its autarkic economic process to a liberalized competitive process has been crucial in the realization of W.W. Rostow's conception of the "takeoff" stage of economic robustness.
of Pennsylvania) and Oldenburg (Southern Asian Institute, Columbia U.) quote economic historian W.W. Rostow to the effect that "takeoff" is "the interval when the old blocks and resistances to steady growth are finally overcome [and the] forces making for economic progress expand and come to dominate the society." The eight contributions to this new edition of the Briefing don't settle the issue of whether India has achieved this state, but the editors clearly believe that it is certainly closer than ever before.
Still, Knuttila does introduce the reader to David Held' s provocative ideas about global governance; I wish he had devoted even more attention to Held and less to the obsolete and inadequately fleshed-out theories of W.W. Rostow and dependency theorists.
I remember W.W. Rostow's influential book of the sixties, The Stages of Economic Growth, [1] that encouraged U.S.-supported economic development in Latin America as an answer to the spread of socialism on that continent.
We remember too the social and economic development theories of the time, grounded in W.W. Rostow's The Stages of Economic Growth (1960), which advertised itself to a contentiously ideological bipolar Cold War world in its subtitle as a "non-Communist Manifesto".
W.W. Rostow' s The Stages of Economic Growth (subtitled A Non-Communist Manifesto), first published in 1960, was almost as important to the Democratic candidate then as Reich's book is to Clinton now.