Concept and Controversy: Sixty Years of Taking Ideas to Market

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A trusted advisor to Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson and one of America's leading professors of economic history, W. W. Rostow has helped shape the intellectual debate and governmental policies on major economic, political, and military issues since World War II. In this thought-provoking memoir, he takes a retrospective look at eleven key policy problems with which he has been involved to show how ideas flow into concrete action and how actions taken or not taken in the short term actually determine the long run that we call the future. The issues that Rostow discusses are these: The use of air power in Europe in the 1940s Working toward a united Europe during the Cold War The death of Joseph Stalin and early attempts to end the Cold War Eisenhower's Open Skies policy The debate over foreign aid in the 1950s The economic revival of Korea Efforts to control inflation in the 1960s Waiting for democracy in China The Vietnam War and Southeast Asian policy U.S. urban problems in disadvantaged neighborhoods The challenges posed by declining population in the twenty-first century In discussing how he and others have worked to meet these challenges, Rostow builds a compelling case for including long-term forces in the making of current policy. He concludes his memoir with provocative reflections on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and on how individual actors shape history.