Raymond Aron's book In Defense of Decadent Europe was published in 1977. It was the time of pervasive pessimism and doubts about the future of both democracy and Europe. European economies were knocked down by the 1973 energy crisis. The students' movements of the 1960s and the wave of terrorism that followed in countries like West Germany and Italy shattered European societies. In general, the 1970s looked to their contemporaries as a crossroads of blind alleys. Europe's role in the world politics was in decline.