The media is feeding on the boastful self-confidence of a newly invigorated entrepreneurial class in India, and on the growing irritation in the Chinese leadership with the Indian upstart. To say these two countries will dominate the global economy in fifty years if they stay on their present trajectories is undoubtedly true. But to take for granted that they will succeed in doing so is naive. Both countries are in the early stages of transformation from precapitalist to capitalist societies and this transition is, by its very nature, jarring. The transition closes old avenues of progress and opens new ones, creating new winners and new losers by the hundreds of thousands. The faster the rate of economic change, the less time given to existing social institutions to adapt, and the greater, therefore, the propensity for violent change. This book looks at the interaction of economic with political and social change in China and India as they have progressed down the road to capitalism. It examines the social and political conflicts that the market has unleashed, and shows how the course of development in both countries has been determined by the conflict between competing strata of the newly empowered capitalist class. It concludes that neither country has created the institutions that are needed to reconcile these conflicts. Their future therefore remains uncertain.