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What Color is the Sacred

About the Book

Over the past thirty years, visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig has crafted a highly distinctive body of work. Playful, enthralling, and whip-smart, his writing makes ingenious connections between ideas, thinkers, and things. An extended meditation on the mysteries of colour and the fascination they provoke, What Color Is the Sacred? is the next step on Taussig’s remarkable intellectual path.

Ranging from Goethe to Walter Benjamin to William S. Burroughs, Taussig mounts a brilliant investigation into the Western world’s troubled relationship with vivid colour, focusing on the way colour has played a role in episodes of spectacular violence from the West’s colonial conquests to Auschwitz.

What Color Is the Sacred? is a continuation of Taussig’s career-long critique of the politics of the West as well as an eclectic bounty of new writings, interpretations, stories, and images all brought together by his inimitably virtuosic, magpie intelligence.

What Colour is the Sacred
About the Author

Michael Taussig is professor of anthropology at Columbia University and the author of several books, including Walter Benjamin’s Grave and My Cocaine Museum, both published by the University of Chicago Press.


Michael Taussig