My First Trip to China

Scholars, Diplomats and Journalists Reflect on their First Encounters with China

Cover My First Trip to China

A series of recollections, some startling honest, by some of the best names in the China-watching field, including Perry Link (Princeton Univeristy), Andrew Nathan (Columbia University), Jonathan Mirsky (Times of London), W. J. F. Jenner, and Lois Wheeler Snow, who recount their first visit to China, recalling their initial observations and impressions. The volume is edited by Kin-ming Liu. The goal is to give a view of the relatively early years of the West's re-engagement with China, from the Mao era through the early years of the Deng reforms. 

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Praise

“Illuminating . . . Fascinating . . . Engaging. A reminder of the kinds of shattering debutante encounters with the enormity, and often imponderability, of Chinese realities that have shaped those who travelled there. Features reminiscences by many of the voices that have come to define how, until fairly recently, the West understood, however partially and imperfectly, China.” 
- Asian Review of Books

“Captures the freshness and curiosity of first encounters with China . . . The richness of the book lies in the variety of accounts at different times in history.” 
- South China Morning Post

“To collect the stories of first encounters with China was a brilliant idea. Not only do we get the benefit of many fascinating insights (and hindsights) from a range of foreigners and overseas Chinese, but these deftly edited views from the outside make up one great story: the history of Communist China. More than a history of one damned thing happening after another, however, this is a history of perceptions, lies, myths and revelations, as much about China as her rulers wish it to be seen, as about those who chose to see China, more and sometimes less clearly, over the last half century.” 
- Ian Buruma, author of Bad Elements

“This is a wistful and absorbing volume, and a fitting remembrance for all of us who once thought that China was going to be easy to study.” 
- Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China