Walt Whitman Rostow

(redirected from Walt Rostow)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Recounting key Golden Age academic strategists such as Thomas Schelling and Walt Rostow, Desch's narrative shows that social science research became most oriented toward practical problem-solving during times of war and that scholars returned to less relevant work during peacetime.
The term 'take-off,' in the context of economy, was given credence by economist Walt Rostow. He hypothesized five stages of economic development, one of them being the 'take-off' stage.
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.
Harlow Curtice, the president of GM in the 1950s; Walt Rostow; Steve Jobs; and Noam Chomsky all make appearances, but perhaps the most illuminating vignette consists of two middle-aged women living on a barrier island who represent Holmes's view of good and bad Americans.
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. As such, the book is a substantial contribution both to the literatures on the Cold War as well as the history of Western development policy, making it a worthwhile book for the specialist and the interested general reader alike.
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.