The world of Mao Tso Tung is currently competing with Castro's Cuba as the most popular producer of just-off-the-press, eye-witness accounts, and China and Her Shadow is one of the better explorations of that threatening colossus. Readily informative, widely diversified, coolly sophisticated and sympathetic by turns, Tibor Mende, an English journalist, known how to pack his lines with perception and persuasion; he can also present a very level-headed analysis of the power struggle and the whole mystique of Far Eastern Marxism. To be sure, some Americans will find that particular critique a little bloodless, almost amoral. Mr. Meade, like many of his country's pundits, believes the China phase is not a passing one, that a political dynamism and industrial ""take-off"" is generating the Asian heartland and that a coherent economic doctrine for 650 million people grounded in the Great Leap Forward will eventually bring to it the decisive balance of power. As civilized as the next man, Mr. Mende bemoans the ""Forced March"", the vast collectivization of labor, the overthrow of opposition, the student indoctrinations, the untold suffering of the Year Plans, the bureaucratic prison. But Red China is a reality, and a ""wave of the future"". We need not give it allegiance, but we must know it. His book meets that demand admirably.