• Essay

    Why Are There so Many Statues of Men on Horseback?

    Since the Time of Marcus Aurelius, It's Been Viewed as the Perfect Combination of Power and Virtue

    By Peter Louis Bonfitto

    Statues are created to project meaning. Contemporary public artworks, for example, use purposely veiled messages aimed to generate thoughtful exchange with the viewer and to prompt reflection. By contrast, historic monumental sculptures …

  • Essay

    The "Little Giant" Who Thought That Backing Slavery Would Unite America

    Stephen Douglas' Push to Allow Human Chattel in Nebraska Lit a Match to the Civil War

    By Graham A. Peck

    One of the most ambitious attempts to unite America ended up dividing it, and altering it forever.
        At the opening of the 33rd Congress on December 5, 1853, Stephen A. Douglas, the short, rotund U.S. Senator from Illinois, ...

  • Poetry

    By Kate Durbin

    C: I’m Claire, I’m an avid reader, aspiring writer, and I collect a lot of books filling the entire house so there are only narrow crevices to squeeze through; windows blocked with books so no natural light comes in; floors buckling under the …

New at Zócalo

The Myth of Untouched Wilderness That Gave Rise to Modern Miami

Indians, Slaves, and Spanish Missionaries Settled the Area, but Marketers and Entrepreneurs Erased Their Legacy

By Andrew K. Frank

Miami is widely known as the “Magic City.” It earned its nickname in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shortly after the arrival of Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad and the opening of his opulent Royal Palm Hotel in 1897. Visitors from across the country were lured to this extravagant five-story hotel, at the edge of the nation’s southernmost frontier. From their vantage point, South Florida was the Wild West—and Miami could only exist if incoming settlers were able to tame it. And tame it they did. Miami’s population boomed, from roughly 300 in 1896 to nearly 30,000 in 1920. Onlookers ...

In Whose God Do Americans Trust?

How the Religious Right Projected Evangelical Conservatism Onto the Founding Fathers

By Matthew Bowman

Charles Bennett, a Democratic Congressman from Jacksonville, Florida, was afraid of communism. In July 1955, he spoke of his concerns on the floor of the House of Representatives. “In these days, when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, we should continually look for ways to strengthen the foundations of our freedom,” he told his fellow members of Congress. Bennett’s proposed solution was simple: Americans could add the phrase “In God We Trust” to their dollar bills. By consensus, Congress adopted Bennett’s resolution. ...

Connecting California/Joe Mathews

  • O Canada, Please Colonize the Coachella Valley

    Snowbirds Have Saved SoCal's Desert Economy. Why Not Just Deed Them the Land?

    Let’s give the Coachella Valley to Canada.
        After all, Canadians already run the place in winter.
        Over the past 40 years, snowbirds from the True North have grown into a winter fixture in greater Palm Springs. They get a lot more than an escape from cold winter weather. The California desert is a much shorter flight than Maui, and it offers an array of arts and ...

  • Will Los Angeles Tear Down the Walls That Keep It Apart From Latin America?

    By Standing up to Trump and Letting People Move Freely, We Could Become a True LA-LA Land

    Los Angeles is a great many things, but it is not Latin America.
        Such a statement should be as uncontroversial as a map of the Western hemisphere. But today, elite conventional wisdom runs the other way.
        Lewis D’Vorkin, the editor of the ...

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