Walt Whitman Rostow

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.

WORKS

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.

REFERENCES

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

I. M. OSADCHAIA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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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.
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