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Book Title: The Stages of Economic Growth Author: Walt Whitman Rostow General Subject Matter: Economic Development

Theme: Economies grow in developmental stages Thesis: Economies all operate according to the stages Rostow has proposed. This is a classic study of economic growth, first published in 1960. Its general tone very much reflects its era, optimistic and technocratic. It also reflects the science and social science of its day, deterministic and linear. More obviously, the subtitle and some of the rhetoric reflect the politics of 1960, and the desire to present a coherent ideological alternative to Communism. Obviously the world has changed. We live in an age of irony, not optimism, and we now appreciate the role of politics in both encouraging and retarding economic growth. Science is more nonlinear, nondeterministic, and political economy recognizes the existence of multiple paths to any end point. Communism is dead. Despite that, the argument here is still worth reading. It was very influential in its day, and set the tone for a lot of work on development (whether still recognized or not). Rostow presents the material clearly and concisely. The causal links between the various stages remain very unclear to me, and to others, but that gap still represents a promising research agenda for those interested in how some countries get stuck at one level of economic development or another. At the end of the day, what you get with this book is a handbook to economic growth, something useful to countries not yet in the "take-off" period and for those who wish to understand economic growth. Personally, the book presented to me an idea better than communism. Before reading this book, what I have on mind is an ideology that before an economy achieves stability it should go through the process of communism just like what Karl Marx suggested in his book Communist Manifesto. This book presented to me a logical developmental stage that could help a countrys economy which is very different from what Marx suggested. I think on achieving my personal agenda and goals in life I can use Rostows idea in a micro level orientation. I personally find this book full of ideas to ponder that is why I highly recommend this book for others to read. Moving on, five basic stages of economic growth are distinguished with detailed discussions of each stage including illustrative examples. He also applies the concept of stages of growth to an examination of the problems of military aggression and the nuclear arms race. The final chapter includes a comparison of his non-communist manifesto with Marxist theory. Materials from the second edition include an appendix in which he responds to some of his critics. For me, as a reader I find this book convenient to read and understandable because of these things provided by Rostow.

To end this review I would like to emphasize some points that I believe about this book. First, I think on a macro level, his idea though logical and sound is not applicable to the contemporary economic setting that we are witnessing due to shift of economic paradigm that this book greatly contest like the dominance of communism. Secondly, I find this material useful in a micro level and I personally believe that this is a work of a genius on his time. Third, this book would help us understand the past that could give us idea in facing todays adversities and challenges. Lastly, I strongly recommend this book to be read by others who wants to understand economic growth.

A Book Review
The Stages of Economic Growth By Walt Whitman Rostow

Submitted to Mr. Rey Sual College of Arts and Sciences

In Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements in Economics 9

Submitted by Sittie Ayna Dimaporo Dia

March 20, 2013