• In the Green Room

    Claudia Kolker is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Rice Business Wisdom, the ideas magazine at Rice Business School and author of The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn From Newcomers To America About Health, Happiness and Hope. Based in Houston she previously has reported from Mexico, El Salvador ...

  • Poetry

    By Elizabeth Jacobson

    Driving on black ice—
    I braked too hard,
    spun into a 360
    and then two more. ...


    The Dazzling 1830 Defense of a Strong Federal Government

    New England Statesman Daniel Webster Found Religion in Centralized National Power When it Served His Region’s Interests

    By Christopher Childers

    For generations, school children memorized the ending to Daniel Webster’s “Second Reply to Hayne,” delivered during the famous Webster-Hayne debate of January 1830. This most-famous-of-debates began in a modest fashion, with an argument over westward expansion and morphed into a discussion of tariffs and then nationalism versus ...

  • Essay

    Extraditions Are Not About Justice

    The Highly Politicized Process of Transferring Fugitives Across Borders Was Primarily Designed to Prevent Impunity

    By David A. Sadoff

    Myths naturally swirl around colorful international fugitives like Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, global arms trafficker Viktor Bout, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But myths are also common with regard to the process by which such wanted individuals are most commonly transferred from one jurisdiction ...

New at Zócalo


The 19th-Century African-American Soldier Who Fought for Filipino Liberation

Angry at the Treatment of Blacks in the US, in 1899 David Fagan Deserted His Regiment and Became a Household Name Back Home

By Michael Morey

  In 1899, during a campaign on the island of Luzon to entrap the Filipino revolutionary president Emilio Aguinaldo, a 21-year-old buffalo soldier named David Fagen deserted from the American army.
  He wasn’t homesick. Young Fagen decided to join the Filipino revolutionaries and quickly took up arms against his former countrymen. In time, he became a guerrilla leader of such renown that his Filipino fighters called him “General Fagen.”
  For more than a century, little was known about Fagen, “the notorious renegade,” beyond the basic outlines of his story. The army had gone out of ...

Connecting California

Making the California Legislature 50 Percent Female Should Be Easy

The Gender Quotas Used in European Countries Offer a Straightforward Path to Parity—and More Democracy

By Joe Mathews

  A few months ago, the new mayor of South Pasadena appointed 18 people to the voluntary local commissions that advise the council in the San Gabriel Valley city.
  Routine? Yes, except for one thing. All 18 appointees were women.
  The appointments by Mayor Marina Khubesrian might have seemed like a small-town stroke for gender parity in representation. Before the appointments about one-third of all appointees on South Pasadena commissions had been women; after, slightly more than half of all commissioners were women, just like the population of the city itself.
  But the move inspired critical media coverage ...

Connecting California Joe Mathews


  • By Sophie Klahr

    Yes—alone, I could stop for anything.
    Fossil bed at a river’s ...

  • By Laton Carter

    Between sagebrush and the lichened rocks,
    a covey of quail ...