The Press: Mao's Columbus

For decades. Western journalists writing about China found themselves using phrases like "As Chou En-lai once told Edgar Snow . . ." or "As Mao Tse-tung recently explained to Snow . . ." Journalist-Author Snow not only had unique access to Peking and a lifetime of expertise but also a personal friendship with Mao dating back to the 1930s. Last year Mao's American friend could relate reliably in LIFE that the Chairman would welcome a visit by Richard Nixon "either as a tourist or as President."

Snow was planning to cover the

Nixon trip...

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