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A Republican president imposed wage and price freezes and proposed a national minimum-income program. A Democratic advisory committee advocated a return to laissez-faire economics and supported the abandonment of struggling big cities. Why, it’s the bizarro world of the 1970s! In Something Happened: A Political and Cultural Overview of the Seventies, George Washington University Professor Edward D. Berkowitz takes us on a big ol’ convoy from the days of Richard Nixon to the era of Ronald Reagan, a period when the economy was bad and the lapels were wide. Part of the book’s fun is the cameos by figures we still know. Here’s Donald Rumsfeld pissing off Nelson Rockefeller! There’s übernerd, soon-to-be-college-dropout Bill Gates, founding Microsoft as the rest of the country watches Bicentennial Minutes. If you think Gerald Ford was just some guy who fell down a lot, let Berkowitz school ya when he reads at 1 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)