"An unqualified success ... I can think of no book that provides so personal and yet so comprehensive a view of America, past, present, and potentially future."
- New York Times Book Review
“A fine Thoreavian ramble… the book has real beauty and quiet power:…”
--- Kirkus Reviews
Perseus Books, 1984
Mitchell’s Ceremonial Time, still in print after nearly thirty years, has become something of a cult classic, used in college courses on land use and creative non-fiction classes. It is a deep history of the square mile of land known as Scratch Flat. Mitchell used all possible sources to dig out the story of this place, including the normal ones such as town records, tax roles, and local histories. What sets the book apart is the fact that he also used concept he learned from the Native Americans living in the area- -the idea of ceremonial time, in which past, present and future can be realized in a singular moment – usually during dance or ritual. What emerged is a folkloric history of the place, drawn not only from official records but also from the visions, dreams, and folklore of the people who inhabited Scratch Flat over the last fifteen thousand years.