“Overall, this is an excellent ethnography, suitable for upper-level courses on history, environmentalism and anthropological topics in South Asia.” — Pankaj Jain, Studies in Religion
“What I treasure from this anthropological listening and telling is its illumination of what is not captured in accounts of the region’s history that are based on settlement reports.” — Rita Brara, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"[A] rich oral history. . . . This is a valuable addition to the literatures of postcolonial studies and environmental history. The material’s complex rootedness in time and place make it wonderfully evocative and intellectually stimulating."
— John E. Cort , Religious Studies Review
"[A]n acutely observed and painstakingly analyzed ethnographic exploration. . . . This book makes a major contribution to the fields of memory studies and political anthropology." — James L. A. Webb Jr. , Environmental History
"[Gold’s] research is prodigious and deep. . . . This combination of oral interviews, historical interpretation, and personal insights culminates in a work that is both poignant and instructive. . . . This is a wonderful book, from its title to its final paragraph. With a marvelous clarity and refreshing lack of rhetoric, Gold and Gujar have provided a history that cannot be pigeonholed. Part ethnography, part environmental and social history, the book underlines the importance of perception to historical causation. As noted in the concluding sentence, ‘these forests of memory branch into the future.’" — Christopher V. Hill , Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"[T]he authors compile a rich history of change. . . . Where the voices of Sawar residents are integrated with insightful analysis, both the ethnographic materials and the theoretical analyses are riveting. . . . [T]he detailed stories and incisive analysis offered in this book provide rich evidence of the strengths of ethnographic research." — Stephanie Rupp, American Ethnologist
"Equally excellent accounts of modern and postmodern experience in India are available, but none is as detailed and rigorous yet as rich and engaging. . . . [T]he book is a testimony to how team fieldwork, between a foreign anthropologist and a local householder and teacher, can make the work of both greater than the sum of the two. . . . Filled with immediate and visceral detail, this book could easily be taught in classes at a variety of levels or recommended to friends and relatives who are not academics at all. Gold and Gujar have provided us with something extraordinary. "
— Paul Robbins , Geographical Review
"The advantages of a marriage between anthropology and history are clearly brought out in this book that presents a history of common people, weaving together narratives on issues that dominate their memories. . . . The chapters are rich in small details, and exhibit both the attention to the minute and sometimes the blurring of the massive details that are characteristic of memory and recall. . . . In the Time of Trees and Sorrows is as much about the politics of narration as it is about nature, power, and memory in Rajasthan. It bravely raises thorny questions on anthropological writing and research, while answering many on the cultural history and society of Sawar." — Sudha Vasan, Human Ecology
"This book brilliantly extends subaltern reflections on suffering, memory, and meaning within complex societies in this case Sawar (or Sarwar) state, a petty principality in preindependence India. . . . . The authors richly document a significant moment in Sawar's history. Those whose works are concerned with the subaltern condition will find much to think about in this book." — Carol Henderson , American Anthropologist
“A unique, densely textured historical and ethnographic account. Engaging scholarship on memory, environmental history, oral history, South Asian studies, and ethnographic experimentation, this book works on multiple registers. The authors’ observations about the sweat, dust, tears, and delights of fieldwork are also remarkable in their evocative force.” — Kirin Narayan, author of Mondays on the Dark Night of the Moon: Himalayan Foothill Folktales
“This is an extraordinary history of postcolonial India as told through the lives of peasants and pastoralists, artisans and housewives. Drawing on many years of research, Gold and Gujar explore changing relations between state and subject, changing structures of production and consumption and, most innovatively, changes in the natural world in rural Rajasthan. Their research is rich, their analyses subtle and empathetic, their writing uncommonly evocative. This landmark study is at once a major contribution to environmental history, political anthropology, and folklore.” — Ramachandra Guha, author of Environmentalism: A Global History