My First Trip to China houses a collection of accounts from early, foreign visitors to China about their first impressions of the country as it was slowly opening up in the 70s and 80s. Each account is separate from one another, though the writers are predominantly North American and academic in some shape or fashion.
Because each account is short, My First Trip to China is an insightful and accessible book to pick up and read for small bursts of time. The collection works because you start noticing nuance after the second or third travelogue of, say, visiting China in the 70s. For example, the authors almost all obsess over who the highest-ranking official they saw on their trip was, and how successful were they in having a conversation with a “common” person.
A fun read. Recommended.
Get it from Amazon, HKUPress, Book Depository.