FROM THE CENTER OF THE EARTH:
THE SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT CHINA
by Richard Bernstein Little, Brown; 260 pages; $15.95
CHINA: ALIVE IN THE BITTER SEA
by Fox Butterfield
Times Books; 468 pages; $19.95
At a 1979 White House banquet honoring China's Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping, Shirley MacLaine enthusiastically recalled a trip to the People's Republic and a meeting with a nuclear physicist. Since being sentenced to a commune to grow tomatoes, she told Deng, the scientist said he felt much happier and more productive. Replied Deng politely: "He lied." Such rosy reports have been...