"I cannot think of any book that weaves a more compelling narrative from the collision of Indian, American, and scientific understandings of nature. Weisiger's painstaking reconstruction of the region's biotic communities and her careful attention to biologists' thinking and their meanings for historians places this book in a class by itself."
-Louis Warren, University of California, Davis
"An ambitious, masterful work that addresses fundamental issues about relationships of power between the state and the people it attempts to control, the relationship between nature and cultures, and conflicts between different ways of narrating stories."
-Sherry L. Smith, Southern Methodist University
"Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country ultimately presents a tragedy that could have been largely avoided. In this important book, Marsha Weisiger leaves us with an enhanced appreciation of victories and victims. She portrays resilient people who will do all they can to remain on the land and a persisting sadness nourished by dreams of a time gone by and a world to which sheep are unlikely to return."
-Peter Iverson, Regents Professor of History, Arizona State University
"A nuanced analysis of archival documents, extant historiography, and cultural memory. . . . This is a first-rate history by one of our premier western and environmental historians."
"Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country joins a growing list of environmental histories that take the intersection of human culture and nonhuman imperatives seriously . . . What emerges is a compelling story, complicated in detail but clear in explication. The work is suited to both the uninitiated and knowledgeable reader, offering important insights on the cultural challenges of ecological restoration."
-New Mexico Historical Review
"Weisiger's focus on Navajo women, in her examination into the overgrazing of tribal land and the reduction of livestock as a solution, is distinct from other literature. . . . Weisiger's analysis on the implementation of the conservation program is very insightful and also disheartening, particularly for Navajo women, who were completely ignored both by the Navajo tribal council at the time and by the federal government. . . . The information is eye-opening . . ."
-Western Historical Society
"Dreaming of Sheep makes a significant contribution to scholarship on the American West. It effectively weaves together several neglected strands central to increasing our understanding of how climate change, periodic drought, land-use patterns, government interventions, and above all, the disregard of the importance of female husbandry intersected to create conditions that led to Collier's greatest failure during his tenure as commissioner of Indian Affairs (1933-45).... With great sensitivity and insight, Weisiger evocatively demonstrates why stock reduction continues to be indelibly seared into Navajos' collective memory."
-American Indian Quarterly
"The history of Navajo livestock reduction in the 1930s is well known, yet Marsha L. Weisiger offers a sophisticated reevaluation that is satisfying in both its telling and its complexity."
-The Journal of American History
"Weisiger demonstrates that Navajo rangeland management needs both an ecosystem approach and a cultural understanding. Summing up: Recommended."
"Marsha Weisiger recounts a past example of scientists predicting an environmental catastrophe to a skeptical audience. Although this episode played out on the remote Colorado Plateau in the 1930s and early 1940s, it remains relevant today.... Weisiger takes great pains to understand each side's point of view, and her account deftly joins the cultural and the ecological.... Weisiger's analysis of the conflict is the first to explain the interplay of gender and ecology.... Surely, there is a lesson here for the present day."
"In reading this book, fiber artists will gain respect for the Navajo weavers in their efforts to weave and for their challenge in being forced to use wool that they felt was unsuitable for their work. Gardeners and botanists will surely recognize the references to plant life in the Southwestern desert, and the struggle in not allowing the pervasive plants to gain control. And those of us who love to examine history will recognize that this heartbreak could surely have been avoided through understanding, communication, and respect for nature and for the culture that thrives within it."
-Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot