Books: Quick Skim

BEHIND THE CURTAIN (363 pp.)—John Gunther—Harper ($3).

John Gunther's ambitious Inside reports (Europe, Asia, Latin America, the U.S.) made lively reading for two reasons: 1) Gunther was driven by an insatiable hunger for facts and impressions; 2) his style was as breezy as a tabloid newspaper's, as terse as a telegram. A hardly avoidable consequence of this hop-skip-and-fly journalism was that Reporter Gunther frequently fell into glibness and superficiality. When he might have been mulling over the information he had just collected, he was already on the run to collect more.

In Behind the Curtain, the faults of the Gunther system are...

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