We are about to enter the presence of Wealth. . . with an awe-struck capital W."" Not the comfy, plush world of inherited money but a ""golden gallery"" of living American tycoons, each of whom began ""a ragged hero pursuing some risky course, going out alone to fight giants"" but shortly became a ""hero sitting on a bag of gold, grinning."" It can still be done, Gunther assures us, progressive taxation notwithstanding. There are some homiletic probes for personality traits common to the breed -- initiative; acute intuition; confidence; above all, ""guts"" -- but Gunther's overriding fascination is with how they did it and the routes they took. Thus we get reprinted articles on Joseph Hirshhorn, the stock speculator, by Emmet John Hughes (from Fortune, 1956); Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's hamburger chain, by J. Anthony Lukas (New York Times, 1971); Edwin H. Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera, by Francis Bello (Fortune, 1959); J. Paul Getty, the oil billionaire, by J. Paul Getty (Playboy); and a bundle of others, including some original pieces by Gunther. Much of the collection, as these examples indicate, is as shopworn as the subject itself -- and there seems to be no urgent need to hear once again that they really are different from the rest of us.