Tim Page's Nam

by Tim Page. Knopf, $25.00 and $14.95. At the age of seventeen, Mr. Page bolted from his home in a London suburb to see the world. By age twenty-one, he was covering the war in Vietnam as a photographer who would go anywhere, fly in anything, snap the shutter under any conditions, and when hit, as he was more than once, go at it again in bandages. His recklessness eventually took him out with a severe head wound. It also got him the brutal, vivid, weirdly beautiful pictures collected in his book. Mr. Page’s commentary, riddled with military argot, is almost as startling as the photographs, for while he despised the war’s purpose and the destruction of civilian lives and property, he frankly loved the machines, the racket, the suspense—the sheer crazy excitement of his crazy profession.