New at Zócalo

A Devastating Mississippi River Flood That Uprooted America's Faith in Progress

The 1927 Disaster Exposed a Country Divided by Stereotypes, United by Modernity

By Susan Scott Parrish

On May 1, 1927, The New York Times announced: “Once more war is on between the mighty old dragon that is the Mississippi River and his ancient enemy, man.” Illustrating the story was a reprint of an 1868 Currier & Ives lithograph called “High Water in the Mississippi,” to which had been added the phrase, “In Days Gone By.”
    Through the curtain-like trees, the 1927 viewer—perhaps a Manhattanite drinking her Sunday morning coffee—peeped at a gallant steamboat, a columned Great House, and ...

A Nation Jolted by Terrorism Redefines Its Sense of Self

The End of Sweden’s “Naïve Slumber” Lays Bare Its Competing Truths

By Tove Lifvendahl

The woman in the audience is among those who will stay for a while to ask a question. I have just been giving a lecture at the Foreign Policy Association of Sweden’s Uppsala University. The topic is the country’s migration. That is almost the only thing we’ve talked about since autumn of 2015, when 10,000 asylum seekers arrived every week, raising questions about how our migration policy is shaped and how we should hope to cope with the integration of the many newly arrived.
    The woman tells me that she is one of the numerous volunteer workers who do language training with the newcomers. She has 10 of them in her group and they meet for two hours once a week. Neither she nor the other ...

Video Highlights

  • Populist anger is shaking the world, epitomized by the U.K.’s vote to “Brexit” the EU and even the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. In the U.S., Donald Trump’s election has transformed populist anger into political power. Is a worldwide populist wave inevitable? ...

Connecting California/Joe Mathews

  • Why Nevada Should Get Hitched—to California

    The Golden and Silver States Share a Certain Moral Flexibility, and a Big Enemy in Washington

    Dearest Nevada,
        Marry me.
        My proposal may seem sudden, but ours shouldn’t be one of those late-night quickie weddings at a chapel off the Strip.
        I, California, want a real grown-up ...

  • Golden Gate Bridge Train Service? It’s Time to Get on Board

    California's Iconic Span Needs Rail Transit, Both for Symbolism and for Sonoma's Sake

    If California is as serious about public transit as its urban leaders claim, why isn’t there a commuter rail service running over the Golden Gate Bridge? ...

  • Stop Blaming California for Donald Trump

    It's Not the Golden State's Fault That Its Diversity and Success Sparked a Backlash

    Is California to blame for Donald Trump?
        That may seem a preposterous question to ask of a state that voted so decisively against the new American president that it was responsible, all by itself, for his loss of the popular vote. It seems even stranger given California’s near-total resistance to ...