In a study with the rather narrow base of a few public opinion polls and a couple of hundred interviews with persons in ""leadership positions,"" Mr. Steele has managed to explore the intricacies of American public attitudes toward China within a lucid political and historical perspective. He has also opened to view the ""triangular relationship between public opinion, the Congress, and the administration in policy formation."" Not all of his findings will be welcomed with equal warmth, but they provide something to think about. Most disturbing: in 1964, 28% of Americans polled were ""not aware that China is now ruled by a Communist government"": Most encouraging: ""the consistently antagonistic attitude toward the Chinese Communists has been accompanied by an equally consistent desire for peace and hermony through negotiation of our differences."" Those differences are not and never were easy to resolve, but according to Mr. Steele there has been a steady increase of those in favor of a complete re-examination of our present policy.