A beguiling account of twentieth-century America through the eyes of an outsider, a remarkable inversion of the standard 'Westerner observing the exotic' travel writing formula. Wu Tingfang wrote this book at an intriguing juncture in history - aeroplanes and motion pictures had recently been invented (and his musings on both of these have proven correct) and while he did not know it, a tremendous cultural shift was about to take place in the West due to the First World War. The unassuming and inquisitive diplomat delves into topics such as: immigration; the Arms Race and changes in technology; religion and ethics in the classroom; women's equality; fashion; violence in the theatre; vegetarianism; and cruelty to animals. His observations are enlightening and remain as relevant today as the era in which they were written. In particular, the exploration of the 'American character' and the nation's attitude toward commerce and international relations have a powerful resonance.
America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat