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Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Manuel Pastor

Panelists: “Is South L.A. Forging a New American Identity?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A.
From the Publisher: Over the last five decades, South Los Angeles has undergone a remarkable demographic transition. In South Central Dreams, eminent scholars Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Manuel Pastor follow its transformation from a historically Black neighborhood into a predominantly Latino one, providing a fresh, inside look at the fascinating—and constantly changing—relationships between these two racial and ethnic groups in California.

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Jia Lynn Yang

Speaker: “Does America Really Want to Be a Nation of Immigrants?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965
From the Publisher: The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is at the core of the American narrative. But in 1924, Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing arrivals from southern and eastern Europe and outright banning those from nearly all of Asia. In a riveting narrative filled with a fascinating cast of characters, from the indefatigable congressman Emanuel Celler and senator Herbert Lehman to the bull-headed Nevada senator Pat McCarran, Jia Lynn Yang recounts how lawmakers, activists, and presidents from Truman through LBJ worked relentlessly to abolish the 1924 law.

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Steve Miska

Speaker: “What Does America Owe To Veterans Of Its 21st-Century Wars?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Baghdad Underground Railroad
From the Publisher: During the war’s worst fighting in 2006 and 2007, a handful of Iraqi interpreters put their lives on the line to help American troops. Families threatened, a bounty on their heads, ignored by the powers that be, they faced execution as collaborators with the enemy if they remained in their homeland. A Task Force Commander decides a promise made should be a promise kept.

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George J. Sanchez

Speaker: “Can Boyle Heights Save America?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy
From the Publisher: The vision for America’s cross-cultural future lies beyond the multicultural myth of the “great melting pot.” That idea of diversity often imagined ethnically distinct urban districts—the Little Italys, Koreatowns, and Jewish quarters of American cities—built up over generations and occupying spaces that excluded one another. But the neighborhood of Boyle Heights shows us something altogether different: a dynamic, multiracial community that has forged solidarity through a history of social and political upheaval.

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Ronald Brownstein

Speaker: “How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rock Me on the Water: 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics
From the Publisher: In this exceptional cultural history, Atlantic Senior Editor Ronald Brownstein—“one of America’s best political journalists” (The Economist)—tells the kaleidoscopic story of one monumental year that marked the city of Los Angeles’ creative peak, a glittering moment when popular culture was ahead of politics in predicting what America would become.

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Sir Paul Nurse

Speaker: “What Is The Meaning of Life?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Is Life?
From the Publisher: The renowned biologist Paul Nurse has spent his career revealing how living cells work. In What Is Life?, he takes up the challenge of describing what it means to be alive in a way that every reader can understand.

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Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Moderator: “What Is The Meaning of Life?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Dance of Life: Symmetry, Cells and How We Become Human
From the Publisher: How does life begin? What drives a newly fertilized egg to keep dividing and growing until it becomes 40 trillion cells, a greater number than stars in the galaxy? How do these cells know how to make a human, from lips to heart to toes? How does your body build itself?

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Ainissa Ramirez

Speaker: “Do Inventors Bear Responsibility for the Effects of Their Inventions?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another
From the Publisher: In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience.

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Michelle Nijhuis

Speaker: “Can We All Become Conservationists?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction
From the Publisher: In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale.

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Cynthia Barnett

Speaker: “Can We All Become Conservationists?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

From the Publisher: Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.

It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

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Elizabeth Mitchell

Speaker: “Is It Time to Consider Lincoln More Critically?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Lincoln’s Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House
From the Publisher: A thrilling dive into the little–known, darker side of a revered president’s history, Lincoln’s Lie untangles the threads behind a mysterious 1864 newspaper article to reveal how Lincoln manipulated the media during the Civil War, shining new light onto today’s issues of fake news and presidential conflict with the press.

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Richard Kreitner

Moderator: “Is It Time to Consider Lincoln More Critically?
Break It Up
BREAK IT UP: SECESSION, DIVISION, AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF AMERICA’S IMPERFECT UNION
From the Publisher: The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will.

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Dan Morain

Speaker: “What Does Kamala Harris’s Rise Say About America?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Kamala’s Way: An American Life
From the Publisher: A revelatory biography of the first Black woman to stand for Vice President, charting how the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this country’s most effective power players.

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Steve Viscelli

Speaker: “How Will Robot Trucks Change American Life?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Big Rig Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream
From the Publisher: The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry…

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Margaret MacMillan

Panelist: “What Would a New Cold War Mean for the World?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

War: How Conflict Shaped Us
From the Publisher: The instinct to fight may be innate in human nature, but war—organized violence—comes with organized society. War has shaped humanity’s history, its social and political institutions, its values and ideas. Our very language, our public spaces, our private memories, and some of our greatest cultural treasures reflect the glory and the misery of war. War is an uncomfortable and challenging subject not least because it brings out both the vilest and the noblest aspects of humanity.

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Philip P. Pan

Moderator: “What Would a New Cold War Mean for the World?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Out of Mao’s Shadow
From the Publisher: Out of Mao’s Shadow offers a startling perspective on China and its remarkable transformation, challenging conventional wisdom about the political apathy of the Chinese people and the notion that prosperity leads automatically to freedom. Like David Remnick’s Lenin’s Tomb, this is a moving story of a nation in transition, of a people coming to terms with their past and struggling to take control of their future.

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Oriana Mastro

Panelist: “What Would a New Cold War Mean for the World?

Buy the Book | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Costs of Conversation
From the Publisher: In The Costs of Conversation, Oriana Skylar Mastro argues that states are primarily concerned with the strategic costs of conversation, and these costs need to be low before combatants are willing to engage in direct talks with their enemy.

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Michael Crow

Panelist: “Can Higher Education Be Transformed to Better Serve Society?

 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education
From the Publisher: Out of the crises of American higher education emerges a new class of large-scale public universities designed to accelerate social change through broad access to world-class knowledge production and cutting-edge technological innovation.

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