Books: The Tour Guide

INSIDE SOUTH AMERICA by John Gunther. 610 pages. Harper & Row. $7.95.

Most reporters patrol relatively limited beats—a courthouse, a capitol, a country, a war. John Gunther, 65, covers the earth, ceaselessly crossing borders and oceans as he works at his self-imposed task of describing "the known political world of today continent by continent." The global Gunther shelf lacks only an Inside Australia to be complete. But instead of visiting that continent, as he promised himself to do, Gunther confined his most recent trip to a new study of the ten countries...

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