In This Review

Americans in China: Encounters With the People’s Republic
Americans in China: Encounters With the People’s Republic
By Terry Lautz
Oxford University Press, 2022, pp.

Americans’ encounters with China frequently produce a common narrative arc that bends from meeting to engagement to frustration, settling finally on a tenacious commitment to the relationship grounded in affection, curiosity, and hope. Lautz tells ten different versions of the story in readable, fully rounded portraits of U.S. politicians, diplomats, scholars, journalists, lawyers, and others who have devoted their lives to work involving China. These include the anticommunist Cold Warrior Walter Judd, the diplomat J. Stapleton Roy, the scholar Elizabeth Perry, the lawyer and human rights activist Jerome Cohen, the businesswoman Shirley Young, and the journalist Melinda Liu. There is something both hopeful and cautionary in these accounts, at a time when relations between the United States and China are at their lowest ebb in decades.