An American Encounter With the Beauty of the World
by William Leach
2013, 416 pages, 32 color plates, b/w photos throughout. From a highly regarded historian, here is an engrossing chronicle of America’s infatuation with butterflies, and the story of the naturalists who unveiled the mysteries of their existence during the last half of the 19th century. It reveals how Americans from all walks of life passionately pursued butterflies, and how their discoveries and observations transformed the character of natural history and led Americans into a deeper understanding of the natural world. The book is as full of life as the subjects themselves, and explains a collecting culture perhaps on the brink of vanishing. This engaging history is elegantly illustrated with full-page copies of original color plates.
Some of the subjects covered in the book:
The book includes 78 pages of reference notes, and a helpful index. Paperback; 6 x 8-1/4″.
About the Author – William Leach is a professor of history at Columbia University and a National Book Award finalist. He has been drawn to butterflies since he was a young boy. Many years of extensive research were spent in preparation for writing Butterfly People.
From the Reviews –
Compelling. . . . A splendid twinning of natural science and America. The Economist
Illuminating . . . fascinating. . . . Leach is at his best when he describes moments of butterfly discovery, sharing both the insights Americans discovered over the course of a century and the price they paid for that knowledge. The Washington Post
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