Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/31

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Subject: Highways to a War
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 13:47:57 -0800


Just finished rereading a novel called Highways to a War.  Written by
Christopher Koch.  Koch is Austrailian and also author of The Year of
Living Dangerously.  Both involve photographers.  

On the cover of the Highways book is a still life with a Leica M3DS (I
got out Paul's current article in Photo Tech and identified it) and
other photojournalism paraphenalia.

The book cronicles the life of a "world famous" photographer from
growing up on a farm in Tasmania to covering the war in Vietnam and then
disappearing into Cambodia in l975.

It is one long character study, and many of the minor characters are
photographers and reporters.  The book is quite authentic (it seems-- I
was in the army but safely defending freedom and the supply of beer in
Germany at the time).  It also details the problems of involvement
versus objectivity, getting the dramatic picture versus getting butt
shot off.   And of love and loss and commitment.

The author describes the character many times as carrying his ever
present Leica, with a Nikon as a backup.  

I think we need to support such authors who tell things the way they

Donal Philby
San Diego