In 1998, Professor Humes and Doctor Ryals traveled with Edward Nixon, the brother of the President, to the People's Republic of China. While retracing Nixon's steps, they interviewed those Chinese Foreign Service experts who had planned the president's meetings with Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai. These proteges of Chou En-lai ended their diplomatic careers as envoys in Anglophone nations such as the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. During interviews with Humes, Ryals, and Edward Nixon, these experts shared their observations about the forces, such as the Gang of Four, who were plotting to prevent the Nixon Trip, as well as why, at the time, Mao was amendable to restoring ties with America despite the ongoing Cultural Revolution.
Professor James C. Humes, a former White House speechwriter and State Department planner under Nixon, is currently a fellow at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. His biography of Churchill, nominated for a Pulitzer, won the Athenaeum Award. He has written thirty-two books, including Nixon's Ten Commandments of Leadership and Negotiation and Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter. Humes, who was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the Center for International Scholars at the Smithsonian, has lectured on American government in over thirty universities in Asia and Latin America on behalf of the U.S. State Department. Jarvis D. Ryals, M.D., is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a community leader in medicine and public health. While pursuing his interest in history, he has traveled widely to interview government leaders, including a former president and prime minister.