This is a very rich comparison of Indian and Chinese societies and cultures and the factors that have shaped their approaches to modernization. It also offers some acute observations on Chinese and Indian foreign policies and on the attitudes of Americans toward the two countries. It can, in short, be read on a variety of levels, and it is very well written. Taylor argues that China and India, who share the most densely populated corners of the world, will tend in the long run toward rivalry, and this will encourage each to seek security with a different superpower. India's policy of close association with the Soviet Union has contributed in some degree to China's link to the U.S.-a link that fosters pragmatic policies in Beijing, helps stabilize East Asia, and contributes to a world balance of forces unfavorable to Moscow. With regard to political development in the two countries, the author sheds light on how and why India gave birth to a remarkable democracy while China was undergoing the debacle of Maoism. The future danger to China is not another seizure of irrationality like the Cultural Revolution, but rather a backlash against the current liberalization and a return to a quasi-Stalinist regime. In India, the main threat to the political system is the explosive potential created by communal and regional disputes as well as tensions between haves and have-nots.