Lost Enlightenment and Polymaths of Islam, each analyzing a different but linked period of Central Asian civilization, is each a masterwork of scholarship. Each author, now at a different stage in his academic career, has put to good use a bevy of languages to unveil the achievements of societies and ways of life smothered by the Sturm und Drang of life including great power aggressions. S. Frederick Starr has led Soviet as well as Central Asian research institutes based in Washington, D.C. He was the first director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and later the founding chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, now affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Institute. James Pickett is Assistant Professor of Eurasian History at the University of Pittsburgh. Each author has done research in Russia and Central Asia.
Keywords: Islam, Enlightenment, Central Asia, UN, Development