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Fractured Forest, Quartzite City

Fractured Forest, Quartzite City
A History of Delhi and its Ridge

  • Thomas Crowley - author and currently a researcher at Rutgers University, USA

September 2020 | 368 pages | YODA Press SAGE Select
A sprawling megacity of nearly twenty million people, Delhi has forgotten its ecological history, a key part of which is the Ridge, often referred to as Delhi's ‘green lung’. At various points, Delhi has been a crucial hub of politics, warfare, trade and religious expansion on regional and global levels. Placing Delhi’s environment at the front and centre of its unique history, the book tells the tale of the Ridge, which resonates far beyond the boundaries of India's capital. The Ridge offers a crucial vantage point for viewing these historical and geographical interconnections. Its trees can't be separated from the stones below them, nor the cities that rose and fell around them. Only with this perspective does a clear picture of the Ridge—and Delhi as a whole—emerge.
Seeds: Introduction
Stones: Shifting Geologies of the Ridge
Soil: Mobile Ecologies, Hybrid Histories
State: Warfare, Pageantry, Politics
Surplus: Production, Consumption, Speculation
Spirits: Transcendence, Sacred and Secular

This lucid, well-researched account reaches back into ancient history, encompasses recent political and economic events, and makes a passionate plea for protecting the Ridge as a forested commons open to all city-dwellers. 

Amita Baviskar
Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India

“Fractured Forest, Quartzite City: A History of Delhi and its Ridge by Thomas Crowley is the first book about Delhi that in its very title summons our attention to the land beneath our feet… his style undoubtedly demands his readers sit up and think.”, 11 November 2020

“Lucid and well-researched…Fractured Forest Quartzite City is an absorbing and engaging read on the subject of urban development.”

Hindustan Times, 23 January 2021

“This exhaustively researched book is a must-read for anyone interested in Delhi—and its tumultuous relationship with its most prominent physical asset—the Ridge.”

Open the Magazine, 1 February 2021

Thomas Crowley

Thomas Crowley has spent over a decade researching and writing about environmental politics and history in India. From 2010 to 2017, he conducted intensive research on the Delhi Ridge for the NGO Intercultural Resources, as well as for the “City as Studio” fellowship program at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi.Crowley received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University in 2007, completed a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Pune from 2008–2009, and served as a Social Science Fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany from 2016–2017. He has written extensively on Indian politics... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353885540