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A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield

You’ll finish [Greenfield’s] book with new respect for color, especially for red. With A Perfect Red, she does for it what Mark Kurlansky in Salt did for that common commodity.” (Houston Chronicle)
2 in stock

Interweaving mystery, empire, and adventure, Amy Butler Greenfield’s masterful popular history offers a window onto a world far different from our own: a world in which the color red was rare and precious—a source of wealth and power for those who could unlock its secrets. And in this world nothing was more prized than cochineal, a red dye that produced the brightest, strongest red the Old World had ever seen.

A Perfect Red recounts the story of this legendary red dye, from its cultivation by the ancient Mexicans and discovery by 16th-century Spanish conquistadors to the European pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies who joined in the chase to unlock its secrets, a chase that lasted more than three centuries. It evokes with style and verve this history of a grand obsession, of intrigue, empire, and adventure in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth.