Books: WHAM!


by PHILIP JONES GRIFFITHS 223 pages. Macmillan. $7.95.

Philip Jones Griffiths is a young Welshman, a Magnum photographer-writer who worked in Viet Nam roughly for five years (1966-71). He hates the war, and his book, particularly the captions and brief texts that begin its various sections, will perhaps initially dismay even some readers who would like to run, not walk, to the nearest exit in Viet Nam.

As a writer, Griffiths does indeed have a weakness for overstatement and simplification. But he has grasped that the American presence in Viet Nam has little to do with chatter about genocide and neocolonialist exploitation....

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