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William R. Leach
William R. Leach Enlarge Photo

Photo © Elizabeth Blackmar

  • About this Author
author spotlight

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

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Exam Copy
Butterfly People
An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World
Written by William R. Leach


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 28, 2014
Price: $18.95

With 32 pages of full-color inserts and black-and-white illustrations throughout.

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... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Butterfly People
An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World
Written by William R. Leach


Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: April 9, 2013
Price: $32.50

With 32 pages of full-color inserts and black-and-white illustrations throughout.

From one of our most highly regarded historians, here is an original and engrossing chronicle of nineteenth-century America’s infatuation with butterflies, and the story of the naturalists who unveiled the mysteries of their existence.

A product of William Leach’s lifelong love of butterflies... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Butterfly People
An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World
Written by William R. Leach


Format: eBook, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 9, 2013
Price: $14.99

Read more >
Also available as a hardcover and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Country of Exiles

Written by William R. Leach


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 30, 2000
Price: $14.00

In Country of Exiles, William Leach, whose Land of Desire was a finalist for the National Book Award, explores the troubling effects of our national love affair with mobility. He shows us how the impulse to pull up stakes and find a new frontier has always battled with the need to... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Country of Exiles

Written by William R. Leach


Format: eBook, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $9.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Land of Desire
Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
Written by William R. Leach


Format: Trade Paperback, 560 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 6, 1994
Price: $18.95

Finalist for the National Book Award

Land of Desire tells the story of a fundamental transformation in the culture and economy of America—the rise of mass-market consumerism and the attendant shift to a society preoccupied with consumption, well-being, luxury, and acquisition. Tracing the ascendancy of mass-market culture from its beginnings in the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Land of Desire
Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
Written by William R. Leach


Format: eBook, 560 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 15, 2011
Price: $12.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.
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