Roy Tully does good intelligence-gathering work in Rolfeston, New Virginia. First, he walks around the city mentally noting everything that he sees, that the city was planned, how it is constructed, what the public buildings look like, how the residential areas are socially differentiated, heroic statues and murals of the Founders of the Commonwealth.
Secondly, in a large public building called the Commission House, he views exhibitions, including "The Heroes Who Built Our Country," with photographs dating from John Rolfe's second trip to the new world. Thirdly, in the library, he reads history books, particularly those aimed at school pupils, and "learns" that:
the Founders were heroes, comparable to the leaders of the thirteen colonies;
the displaced Indians got what they deserved;
FirstSide is "...a sink of degeneracy and crime..." (p. 309), run by the wrong people.
butter, cheese and olive oil;
other ingredients for a smorgasbord;
For earlier information on food, see here. (And breakfast here.)
Roy learns what jobs people do and which FirstSide nationalities they are descended from, hears gossip about the rich and powerful and overhears a political conversation. Having learned much, he leaves, planning which area to check the following day.
Stirling plausibly recounts how such a society would see itself at both official and popular levels. He summarizes this information for the reader by presenting it through the eyes of a spy who must learn as much as possible as quickly as possible.