By Michael Sauter
Updated July 21, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

With pet rocks, Afros, and Starsky and Hutch, the ’70s was perhaps the cheesiest decade of the century — and the dangers of the ’80s and ’90s have made those years seem innocent by comparison. Peter Knobler and Greg Mitchell, former Crawdaddy magazine editors, remember the ’70s — from rock to Vietnam, from Nixon’s resignation to the retirement of Willie Mays — in the new collection of essays Very Seventies: A Cultural History of the 1970s From the Pages of Crawdaddy. The era is seen contemporaneously by Joseph Heller, P.J. O’Rourke, Gilda Radner, Paul Krassner, and William Burroughs, among others. (But not that many. A number of essays are by Knobler, and there’s a relative absence of women and minority writers.) A brash certainty in the writing mirrors the ’70s’ upbeat attitude, though some pieces put things in a broader perspective: ”A laconic sense of humor is a commendable tactic in the day-to-day, hand-to-hand combat of living in these times,” Knobler wrote in 1973. How much everything, and nothing, has changed. B