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A journalistic tour de force, this wide-ranging collection by the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Stilwell and the American Experience in China is a classic in its own right.
During the summer of 1972—a few short months after Nixon’s legendary visit to China—master historian Barbara W. Tuchman made her own trip to that country, spending six weeks in eleven cities and a variety of rural settlements. The resulting reportage was one of the first evenhanded portrayals of Chinese culture that Americans had ever read.
Tuchman’s observations capture the people as they lived, from workers in the city and provincial party bosses to farmers, scientists, and educators. She demonstrates the breadth and scope of her expertise in discussing the alleviation of famine, misery, and exploitation; the distortion of cultural and historical inheritances into ubiquitous slogans; news media, schools, housing, and transportation; and Chairman Mao’s techniques for reasserting the Revolution. This edition also includes Tuchman’s “fascinating” (The New York Review of Books) essay, “If Mao Had Come to Washington in 1945”—a tantalizing piece of speculation on a proposed meeting between Mao and Roosevelt that would have changed the course of postwar history.
“Shrewdly observed . . . Tuchman enters another plea for coolness, intelligence and rationality in American Asian policies. One can hardly disagree.”—The New York Times Book Review