AMERICAN NOTES: The Perspective Below

In a positively ostentatious feat of celestial detente, the Americans and Soviets were scheduled this week to unite their Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft 140 miles up in the cosmos. Their photographs looking back will show the eerily beautiful blue and white marbled globe, but the perspective down on earth seemed murky and bitterly troubled.

As Americans contemplated the atmosphere abroad (see THE WORLD), there were especially ominous signs for some democratic or formerly democratic governments. India, under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's state of emergency, seemed to be slipping into authoritarianism. Portugal, which not long ago gave hopes of becoming a...

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