THE MOOD: 1974: Looking to an Austere New York

It is an American trait—perhaps the American trait—to anticipate the future with optimism, but as 1973 drew to a close much of that confidence was ebbing, drained by a series of worries that seemed to stretch ahead indefinitely.

Worries about the two Big E's: the economy and energy. Worries about the Middle East, about relations with the Japanese and the Europeans, to say nothing of maintaining the shaky detente with the Russians. Worry, in the light of Watergate, about the wonderfully delicate system of American government. Can something designed in the 18th century,...

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