Transmit power control is a central technique for resource allocation and interference management in spread-spectrum wireless networks. With the increasing popularity of spread-spectrum as a multiple access technique, there has been significant research in the area in recent years. While power control has been considered traditionally as a means to counteract the harmful effect of channel fading, the more general emerging view is that it is a flexible mechanism to provide quality of service to individual users. In this paper, we will review the main threads of ideas and results in the recent development of this area, with a bias towards issues that have been the focus of our own research. For different receivers of varying complexity, we study both questions about optimal power control as well as the problem of characterizing the resulting network capacity. Although spread-spectrum communications has been traditionally viewed as a physical-layer subject, we argue that by suitable abstraction, many control and optimization problems with interesting structure can be formulated at the network layer.