In the final year of an eventful decade, it is appropriate to take stock of where we are, what the events of this decade really mean, and what the next decade holds in store. What really happened in the 1970s? As for any other decade, that question is not easy to answer. It will be easier to answer a few decades hence when we are better able to see the events of lasting significance in historical perspective, and to distinguish them from the short-lived phenomena that cloud both our vision and our understanding because we are still too close to them. Furthermore, decades are simply 10-year units in a continuum of events and are not necessarily logical units of time to study.