This book is a collection of essays comparing the pasts of India and China, mostly from 16th to 19th centuries (Mughal India and Qing China). These essays are written by 18 academics representing top Universities like Harvard, Oxford, Columbia, University of Chicago, Princeton, etc., which was the prime reason I bought it.
While they have not used academic jargon and essays are rather easy to read, the tone and style is academic and boring across all the essays. The comparison of China and India seems forceful...they might have compared China with Iran or Ottoman Empire for the same period. For those not familiar with geography of India and China, I recommend looking at a population density map of Asia and you'll realize that the major chunk of two populations are thousands of kilometers apart and separated by mighty Himalayas, Tibetan plateau, and inhospitable desert. The two civilizations have been disconnected and definitely during the period this book covers.
There were no known visitors from China to India after Xuantsang in 7th century. Might be due to the Battle of Talas in 751 AD between Abbasid Caliphate and Tang Dynasty that created a boundary stopping further exchange. (It's not covered in this book though).
From the Introduction onward, the authors have tried to portray the positive aspects of the Mughals. It's almost opposite of the two books written by Toby Huff (The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West and Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective). Authors fail to capture the shortcomings of the Mughals or facts like the Persian artists looking down upon Mughal Art which was considered too loud and jarry.
A much better, insightful, and comprehensive book comparing India and China is 'India, China and the World: A Connected History' by Tansen Sen that I call first rate scholarship. I enjoyed it despite it being written by an academic and doesn't come across a a popular history book.
So overall this book is surprisingly mediocre despite a star cast.
Given the name of the authors, one would expect a much more compact & proper account of the past. Rather the book focuses only on a particular period, ignoring other crucial periods of these two Civilizations. If the authors were truly concerned about the future then they would have taken a much more comprehensive outlook to understand what these Civilizations once were.