Books: Damned Spot

PAPERS ON THE WAR

by DANIEL ELLSBERG

309 pages. Simon & Schuster. $7.95.

In the summer of '65, Richard Nixon, the most prominent partner of a prominent Wall Street law firm, was passing through Saigon. At the time, South Viet Nam was preparing to elect members to its Constituent Assembly, and U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Nixon's former running mate, was worried that the wrong men might get elected. To find out why, Nixon visited the home of Major General Edward Lansdale, the U.S. coordinator of civil pacification efforts. Members of Lansdale's team were...