We are thrilled to welcome to Northshire Live award-winning author Edward D. Melillo to present his new book The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World--a fascinating, entertaining dive into the long-standing relationship between humans and insects, revealing the surprising ways we depend on these tiny, six-legged creatures. Melillo will discuss the book with fellow author and historian Benjamin Madley.
Drawing on research in laboratory science, agriculture, fashion, and international cuisine, Edward D. Melillo weaves a vibrant world history that illustrates the inextricable and fascinating bonds between humans and insects. Across time, we have not only coexisted with these creatures but have relied on them for, among other things, the key discoveries of modern medical science and the future of the world's food supply. Without insects, entire sectors of global industry would grind to a halt and essential features of modern life would disappear. Here is a beguiling appreciation of the ways in which these creatures have altered--and continue to shape--the very framework of our existence.
EDWARD D. MELILLO is professor of history and environmental studies at Amherst College. He is the author of Strangers on Familiar Soil: Rediscovering the Chile-California Connection (2015), which won the Western History Association's 2016 Caughey Prize for the most distinguished book on the American West. He was awarded the Mellon New Directions Fellowship in 2017. He received his PhD and his MPhil from Yale University and his BA from Swarthmore College. He grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and now lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
"It's a buzzing, crawling, flapping planet. Edward Melillo, with great affection and respect, reminds us not to forget that we share the planet with an amazing menagerie of remarkable creatures, many of them six-legged. We would be wise to pay more attention!"—Bill McKibben
"Insects turn up everywhere, including throughout human history. Lively and engrossing, Edward Melillo's The Butterfly Effect shows that bugs matter every bit as much as generals and emperors."—Elizabeth Kolbert
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