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In a squalid, Salvadoran refugee camp, a young boy dies in his father's arms. Somewhere in Cambodia, a seemingly endless road of human skulls hugs the earth. In Beirut, a lone woman peels potatoes amid the bombed-out ruins of her home. These stark images are among the eloquent gallery of color and black-and-white photos in War Torn (Pantheon: $14.95, paperback). Editor Susan Vermazen focuses upon survivors and victims of present-day political chaos, presenting the random violence captured by 31 international photographers. Heart-rending and unsparing, these pictures convey a horror and a depth of sadness that few headlines or TV broadcasts rival. We see behind the anonymous casualty statistics to find that each survivor, each victim is a separate study in tragedy and loss. Dedicated to the memory of John Hoagland (killed on assignment in El Salvador last year), this offers a disturbing record of the work of these intrepid photojournalists . . . and an agonizing but necessary testament to the madness that war inflicts upon humankind.

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