Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020

The 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Honors the Best Writing on Community and Social Cohesion

Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our past Zócalo Book Prize winners photograph by Moira Shourie

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the nonfiction book, published in the U.S., that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness and social cohesion.

The 10 past Zócalo Public Square Book Prize recipients come from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and scholarship. They range from historians and journalists to political scientists and philosophers. Previous winners have studied a single location (whether that’s Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during the Jim Crow era or an Eastern European border town in the centuries leading up to the Holocaust) as well as phenomena including cooperation, technology, and morality. We look forward, in 2021, to finding a new way into our central question, one that has been at the heart of Zócalo’s mission since our founding and that continues to inspire our work: How can we best live and work together, globally, nationally, and locally? This question always feels urgent to us, but in this particular moment it has become even more necessary and compelling.

Because community is such a vast subject that can be explored in myriad ways, we accept submissions on a broad array of topics and themes from many fields and disciplines.

As with everything else Zócalo features, we are on the lookout for that rare combination of brilliance and clarity, excellence and accessibility.

The author of the winning book will receive $10,000 and deliver a lecture at the award ceremony in Los Angeles in spring 2021. For more information about the prize, including how to submit, please contact us at bookprize@zocalopublicsquare.org.

Our past winners are:

William Sturkey for Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White (Belknap/Harvard University Press)
Omer Bartov for Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz (Simon & Schuster)
Michael Ignatieff for The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World (Harvard University Press)
Mitchell Duneier for Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Sherry Turkle for Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (Penguin Press)
Danielle Allen for Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (Liveright Publishing)
Ethan Zuckerman for Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (W.W. Norton & Company)
Jonathan Haidt for The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon)
Richard Sennett for Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation (Allen Lane)
Peter Lovenheim for In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time (Perigee Books)


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