Doris Lessing, The Wind Blows Away Our Words (London: Picador and NY: Random House, 1987).
The travel book that touches on the political is a tricky genre. At its best it enables the author, freed from the constraints of formal narrative and factual analysis, to present a special insight into a society in turmoil and into his or her encounter with the protagonists. The anecdotal and the experiential can provide a unique access. The contrasting accounts of China in the 1930s by Edgar Snow and Peter Fleming are classics of this kind: more recent examples might be Graham Greene, Paul Theroux, Ryszard Kapuscinski, James Fenton at his more considered, the Naipauls at their less dyspeptic.