Foolish Tragedy: FLASHBACKS: ON RETURNING TO VIETNAM by Morley Safer

Random House; 206 pages; $18.95

FLASHBACKS: ON RETURNING TO VIETNAM by Morley Safer

Random House; 206 pages; $18.95

In 1965 Morley Safer accompanied a force of U.S. Marines on a search-and- destroy mission to the hamlet of Cam Ne. It was mostly destroy. The footage of troops burning peasant huts was seen by millions on the CBS News. It was an era of "tragic foolishness," says Safer in Flashbacks, an artful contrast of past and present that recalls a time when the typewriter, not the portable hair dryer, was the essential tool of the TV journalist.

He visits former battlefields and old soldiers, including Vo Nguyen...