CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

The Zócalo Dozen Soothe, Agitate, and Enlighten

12 Favorite Essays Size Up 2016 and Anticipate the Year Ahead

Ibtissam Laghwan, left, the mother of Luay Laghwan, one of two suicide bombers who carried out an attack in the Israeli town of Dimona, holds a picture of him as a child at the family house in Gaza City, Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. A Palestinian suicide bomber on Monday blew himself up in Dimona, the southern town that houses Israel's secretive nuclear reactor, killing an Israeli woman and wounding seven other people, Israeli authorities said. Police said they killed a second attacker before he had a chance to detonate his explosives belt. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

In 2016, writers of Zócalo essays took us inside a dry cleaning business in South L.A., admired the ingenious mosaics created by a Chicago artist to fill the city’s potholes, sampled Minnesota soul food, and introduced us to the black man from Missouri who became America’s first “Indian” TV star.

Picking favorites among the hundreds of essays we publish each year is hard—and dangerous, because you don’t want to leave anything delicious out. But after quite a bit of thought and re-reading, the 12 essays below stood out because they felt …

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