University of Minnesota Press

What inspires desire for plants? In The Cactus Hunters, Jared Margulies takes readers through the intriguing world of succulent collecting, where collectors and conservationists alike are animated by passions that sometimes exceed the limits of the law. His globe-spanning journey offers complex insight into the fields of botany and criminology, political ecology and human geography, and psychoanalysis. Here, Margulies is joined in conversation with Samantha Walton.

Jared Margulies is assistant professor of political ecology in the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama. Margulies is author of The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade.

Samantha Walton is professor of modern literature at Bath Spa University in England. Walton is author of Everybody Needs Beauty: In Search of the Nature Cure and The Living World: Nan Shepherd and Environmental Thought.

Nan Shepherd
The Detectorists (British comedy series)
Sheffield Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society
Cactus and Succulent Society of America
Jacques Lacan
Sigmund Freud
Hannah Dickinson
Paul Kingsbury
Anna Secor
Lucas Pohl
Robert Fletcher / Failing Forward
Alberto Vojtech Frič

Locations discussed:
Czech Republic

The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade is available from University of Minnesota Press.

"This book offers a powerful example of the value of close attention to the entangled lives of plants and their people."
—Thom van Dooren, author of A World in a Shell: Snail Stories for a Time of Extinctions

"A deeply felt and nuanced reckoning with desire as a structurally produced and world-making force—a unique and major contribution to political ecology."
—Rosemary Collard, author of Animal Traffic: Lively Capital in the Global Exotic Pet Trade

What is University of Minnesota Press?

Authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.