Lisa Hobbs entered China with qualms and left it with a show of conscience. The first American newspaperwoman to visit China since 1949, she passed herself off as a freelance Australian (she was born there) writer. In the end she came clean and was glad of it. In between, for three weeks, she participated in a group tour that took her to six Chinese cities squired by an official and an interpreter. She wanted to bring back to America word of a country which ""rates less press coverage than a B movie."" She experienced the shock of finding herself ""caught unexpectedly in the presence of a vast ideal,"" as she visited schools and communes and factories and old peoples' homes. She saw no beggars, no evidences of malnutrition; she also witnessed political indoctrination in the schools and theatre (with young women mustering bayonets in ballet and children damning the American imperialists in Viet Nam). She had an eye for clothes and places, found out something about marriage and mores--and made the most of her very limited opportunity to speak with ordinary people. She spoke also to Anna Louise Strong whose Letter from China is written out of Peking from the Left. She visited the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs as well as celebrated May Day in the capital. Her approach is alert and attractive and reads like the woman's page behind the headlines.