Over the past decade, Mexican drug traffickers trying to get their products to the U.S. have had a spiritual “protector.” Her name is Santa Muerte, and she’s a Mexican folk saint for not just drug traffickers, but prostitutes too. R. Andrew Chesnut (Virginia Commonwealth University) is the author of a new book about Santa Muerte, called Devoted to Death, in which he looks at her growing cult of followers in both Mexico and the U.S.
Also featured: Africa is often thought of as a “dark continent” rife with wars, famines, wild animals, and primitive tribes. But VFH Fellow Robert Vinson (College of William & Mary) is working on a new book that challenges those ideas. He says Zulu peoples of South Africa were active shapers of the modern Atlantic world.