The Dangerous World of Butterflies
“An eye-opening peek into the world of butterfly collecting. From true crime to heated debates between butterfly conservationists and butterfly farmers, this book reads like a novel,” says the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.

The continuing journalistic adventure of Peter Laufer has already resulted in thousands of hours of network reporting from the front lines of conflict and social change around the world, and a growing shelf of books dealing with social and political issues: from immigration and borders (Wetback Nation, The Elusive State of Jefferson and ¡Calexico!) to talk radio (Inside Talk Radio) to the pleasures of an intriguing American art form: neon signs (Neon Nevada, with Sheila Swan Laufer). Laufer’s books include one that focuses on American soldiers who return from Iraq opposed to the war, Mission Rejected, and Hope Is a Tattered Flag (written with Markos Kounalakis), which offered scenarios for recovery post-Bush. The Dangerous World of Butterflies, published by Lyons Press, is a direct result of Laufer’s speaking tour for Mission Rejected. As a follow-up to The Dangerous World of Butterflies, Laufer wrote Forbidden Creatures, a study of the so-called exotic pets and their “owners.” The third book in this natural history trilogy is No Animals Were Harmed, published in 2011.

His latest book is Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Learn the Truth behind Food Labeling.  His research took him across four continents as he tracked foodstuffs from his local grocery store back to their (supposedly organic) sources.

In the works from St. Martin’s Press is Dreaming in Turtle, highlighting human fascination with turtles through the ages, and with reports on the devastated state of the species informed by Laufer’s research crisscrossing the globe to meet illicit hunters, smugglers, vendors, buyers, undercover federal agents, scientists, conservationists, and many turtles along the way.

Slow News — Laufer’s Manifesto for the Critical News Consumer — is published by the Oregon State University Press, just in time to save us all from the 24-hour news cycle.

Peter Laufer is the James Wallace Chair Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Radio work by Peter Laufer includes the creation of a magazine show from around the world for the National Geographic Society and a radio adaption of its investigative reporting for Mother Jones magazine. He co-anchored a Washington Monthly magazine weekly radio talk show, and provides coaching and program consulting for talk radio shows and stations worldwide. In the past, he was a news correspondent for NBC News, reported for CBS and ABC radio, and was the Berlin voice of the public radio program “Marketplace.” Peter Laufer’s years in radio resulted in his winning virtually every major award available to broadcast journalists. Peter Laufer anchored the live Sunday morning KPFA (Berkeley) current affairs program which featured guest interviews and interaction with the audience (listen to an excerpt here: KPFA). Read the Ben Fong-Torres San Francisco ChronicleRadio Waves” column for more on Laufer’s talk radio work.

The articles and op-ed pieces by Peter Laufer appear in a wide variety of publications, from the San Francisco Chronicle to Mother Jones magazine, from the New York Times to Washington Monthlyto Penthouse. Laufer is a frequent lecturer on the role of talk radio in American society, the crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border and about the border where animal use becomes animal abuse.

Watch Peter Laufer talk about his butterfly book with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

Read the Washington Post review of The Dangerous World of Butterflies, and the Los Angeles Times review.

Watch Peter Laufer discuss his book Wetback Nation with Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly.

Listen to Peter Laufer talk about The Elusive State of Jefferson on “All Things Considered” on NPR.

The eye-catching Organic dust jacket: