Books: Unwarranted Ordeal

THE CHINA HANDS: AMERICA'S FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND WHAT BEFELL THEM

by EJ. KAHN JR. 337 pages. Viking. $12.95.

Americans are once again half in love with China. Senators now vie for invitations to Peking. Tourism to the People's Republic has gone from privilege to fad. Chinoiserie is the rage of the boutique. Indeed, in the situation ethics of detente, when President and Premier could chat like old comrades, it seems churlish to recall that the Communist takeover of China once precipitated something close to a national nervous breakdown.

A quarter-century ago, that political guerrilla...

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