• Glimpses

    A Disquieting Look at Life Around the Caspian Sea

    Photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews Captures the Geography of the Land and the Practices That Connect People to It

      The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, nestled between Europe and Asia, and surrounded by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. Through history, the area has been under the sway of the Persians, the Mongols, the Ottomans, and the Russians.
      For five years, from 2010-2015, British photographer ...

  • Connecting California

    Yosemite Is Not for Claustrophobes

    As It Accommodates Millions of Visitors a Year, California’s Signature National Park Feels Less Like an Escape

    Joe Mathews

    The Yosemite National Park shuttle bus to Mariposa Grove wasn’t running. And the road up to the grove is no longer open to private cars. Would my three sons, ages 10, 8, and 5—aka the Three Stooges—agree to a 2 1/2 mile uphill hike to see Yosemite’s signature sequoias? ...

  • Sketchbook

    Using watercolors with a light touch, and letting the paper shine through, Sara Franklin achieves colors that rival actual plants and animals in vibrancy and luminescence. When looking at her illustrations, consider that watercolor painting is purely additive. You can’t add light colors atop darker colors. Effects like white speckles on a green fish or white highlights on a butterfly’s wings, ...

  • Poetry

    By Elizabeth Jacobson

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

New at Zócalo


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 to another to face justice, namely, extradition. Because of these myths, extradition—although well-known—is often misunderstood.
  The media sometimes covers extradition as a criminal trial or as a judicial decision about a fugitive’s guilt or innocence, but neither is correct. Extradition is best understood as a formal, cooperative process of transferring the custody of an individual to the jurisdiction of the state seeking their recovery with the purpose of prosecuting that individual (or re-incarcerating them if they had escaped from detention). ...


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 states’ rights. Over time, the discussion came to symbolize something much more about American unity, as Webster’s soaring defense of nationalism and American nationhood, crowned with the words “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable,” became a civics lesson in the meaning of American union and a model of impassioned oratory (emphasis added).
  After April 1861, Webster’s discourse on nationhood took on added meaning ...

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 ...