Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World

Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, by William Leach

Synopsis: From one of our most highly regarded historians, here is an original and engrossing chronicle of nineteenth-century America’s infatuation with butterflies—“flying flowers”—and the story of the naturalists who unveiled the mysteries of their existence. A product of William Leach’s lifelong love of butterflies, this engaging and elegantly illustrated history shows how Americans from all walks of life passionately pursued butterflies, and how through their discoveries and observations they transformed the character of natural history.

In a book as full of life as the subjects themselves and  foregrounding a collecting culture now on the brink of vanishing, Leach reveals how the beauty of butterflies led Americans into a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Published: April 2013 | ISBN: 978-1400076925

Mini-bio: William Leach is a professor of history at Columbia University. His books include Butterfly PeopleCountry of Exiles: The Destruction of Place in American Life, and Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture, which was a National Book Award finalist.

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Paperback Edition: Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World

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