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THE VANISHING TRIBES OF BURMA, by Richard K. Diran. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 240 pp., $60.

Coffee-table photo books are usually too expensive, space-consuming or indistinguishable in content from the art of the glossy postcard for most of us to consider buying. Every once in a while, however, there appears a publication in this cumbersome format that overcomes all such reservations. Richard K. Diran has achieved this rare feat with his book “The Vanishing Tribes of Burma.”

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