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Book Title: The Dangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists|
The author of the book: Peter Laufer
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.57 MB
Edition: Lyons Press
Date of issue: May 4th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781599219271
Read full description of the books The Dangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists:The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking that the author was looking for a story that wasn't there. He didn't necessarily invent anything to write this book, but I think his own ignorance and his entitled sense of poetic license meshed to create a sense of suspense and danger where it really doesn't exist. Are there butterfly poachers out there? Are there lunatics and right-wing conservatives running butterfly farms who earn their profits from killing butterflies for a living? Sure there are, but welcome to America, where we don't bat an eye at the evening news roundup of senseless violence and political corruption. The cute story behind why the author wrote this book is exactly that, cute, but for anyone with even a small background in Lepidoptera, this book is a waste of time that is rife with hyperbole and libel.
The author just couldn't maintain an unbiased viewpoint of his subjects. He kept referring to the people who collect and adore butterflies as a kind of mentally disturbed freak that enjoys sitting in rooms with millions of dead insects. And for the love of God, Mr. Laufer, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! Butterflies metamorphose in a chrysalis, not cocoons!!! Only moths metamorphose in cocoons!!! You repeated this error almost ten times throughout your book, but finally got it right towards the end.
I realize this book was written for people who may not have much knowledge of, or interest in, butterflies and moths, but I feel this book greatly exaggerates and defiles the world of caring and devout scientists and laymen who are passionate about these wonderful creatures. The Epilogue finally tones down the rhetoric the author used throughout the book to acknowledge how much he learned about butterflies while researching and writing about them, but I wish he had balanced his indictment of all the "crazy" people he portrays with a few more "normal" people; but, of course, this would have made the title of his book moot, wouldn't it?
I would have rated this book only one star if I hadn't found a little bit of intrigue in some of the characters he portrayed. The wonderful conservationist working to save the Palos Verdes Blue and Lange's Metalmark fills my heart with joy knowing that there are caring, beautiful people out there who want to preserve something so miniscule and seemingly unimportant. I grew up with Albany's (New York) Pine Bush in my backyard, one of several homes to the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. Having such a rare and exquisite creature in the woods near my childhood home definitely played a significant role in my love of butterflies. I want to read more stories about Jana Johnson and learn more about the work of Robert Michael Pyle, who only merits a brief mention in the beginning of the book. Where are the heroes of the butterfly world in this book? Our lives are already bombarded by the stories of the losers and miscreants operating in other areas of the scientific and scholastic fields. This book would have been much more balanced if he had included more positive reporting. Instead, we are led to believe there are thousands of pretentious and criminally minded insect fiends living in solitary confinement gleefully surrounded by dead bugs. This is not true at all. Shame on the author for lying to us!
Read information about the authorPeter Laufer, Ph.D., is the author of more than a dozen books that deal with social and political issues, including "Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq," "Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border," and "Iron Curtain Rising: A Personal Journey through the Changing Landscape of Eastern Eurpoe." He is the coanchor of "The Peter Laufer Show" on radio station Green 960 in San Francisco. More about his books, documentary films, broadcasts, which have won the George Polk, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward R. Murrow, and other awards, can be found at peterlaufer.com. He lives in Bodega Bay, California.
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