• Poetry

    by Chris Davidson

    I recalled for the therapist a rabbit skin I bought
    At summer camp, at the camp trading post,
    When I was nine or ten using cash my parents
    Sent with me my first trip away from home. ...

  • Glimpses

    When the Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, it was equipped with a camera to chronicle its travels through the cosmos. One of the images that astronomer Carl Sagan hoped the probe would capture was that of Earth as the probe left the confines of our solar system, …

New at Zócalo

Connecting California

In Fighting the Imperial Presidency, California Is Creating a Monster

As It Battles the Federal Government, Sacramento Has Gained Power at the Expense of Local Communities

by Joe Mathews

As California builds its capacity to fight the Leviathan that is the Trump administration, does it risk turning our state government into a Leviathan of our own?
  This unhappy question—about whether regular Californians and their communities may get swallowed up by the state monster we’re creating to fight the federal monster—occurred to me while I was reading Gary Gerstle’s powerful 2015 history, Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government. The book breaks new ground by examining the history of governance ...


The Oxen Were the Unheralded Heroes of America’s Overland Trails

Over Long Journeys, Westward Migrants Came to Love the 'Noble' Animals They Depended on

by Diana L. Ahmad

Between 1840 and 1869, approximately 300,000 people crossed the United States on their way to settle in Oregon, find gold in California, or practice religion as they desired in Utah. The story of these emigrants, who were soon known as “overlanders,” is well known, taught in every school in the United States. Despite the popularity of Hollywood films on the experience, and even a now-classic 1971 video game, The Oregon Trail, we rarely talk about the animals that took the pioneers west. These draft animals played roles that proved them to be more than simple haulers of goods, as the overlanders ...

Connecting California Joe Mathews