Synopses & Reviews
War weary after writing a book about Iraq and psychologically fatigued by a career of reporting bad and sad news, Peter Laufer jokingly said his next book would be about butterflies and flowers, simple analogies for peace and love. The result: an invitation to a butterfly preserve in Nicaragua where he soon discovered the behind-the-scenes world of collectors, criminals, and cops obsessed with one of natures most compelling miracles. The Dangerous World of Butterflies chronicles Laufers adventures within the butterfly industry and the butterfly underground. He examines the allure of butterflies and recounts the constant role they have played throughout history and across cultures in mythology and art. But his research takes an unpredictable turn into the high-stake realms of organized crime, ecological devastation, species depletion, the integrity of museum collections, and chaos theory. Along with beauty and renewal, the butterfly has become an unwitting symbol for greed and vanity. Laufers widely praised journey of discovery throughout the Americas and beyond offers a rare look into a theater of intrigue, peopled with quirky and nefarious characters—all in pursuit of these delicate, beautiful creatures. Read this book, and your garden—and the world—will never look quite the same.
A true tale of beauty and obsession, smugglers and scientists, and nature's most enigmatic creature.
About the Author
Peter Laufer PhD is the author of more than a dozen books, including Forbidden Creatures (Lyons Press, forthcoming) and Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border. He is the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. More about his work, which has received the George Polk, Edward R. Murrow, and other awards, at peterlaufer.com.