The 2024 Zócalo Book Prize Winner Is Coming Soon

In the Meantime, Check Out Five Fantastic Shortlist Titles

Illustration by Nick Yang/Zócalo.

The 2024 election season has barely begun and you already might be torn: tired of headlines about political polarization’s threat to democracy in America and abroad, but also feeling like it would be irresponsible to ignore the topic.

Lucky for you, we have an antidote to both forms of apathy. This year’s Zócalo Book Prize shortlist includes five nonfiction books, all published in the past year, that dig deep into the forces that strengthen or undermine social cohesion, human connectedness, and community.

We have awarded the Book Prize annually since 2011. Stay tuned for the announcement of our winner in late March and our event honoring the author(s) in June in downtown Los Angeles. Special thanks to screenwriter and philanthropist Tim Disney for returning to sponsor the 2024 prize.

In the meantime, we invite you to join our selection committee in reading and considering these titles, which explore subjects as divisive as guns and migration and things as mundane as finding a parking spot—and how they both bring us together and threaten to tear us apart.

Congratulations, again, to:

• Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox, authors of Gradual: The Case for Incremental Change in a Radical Age

• Myisha Cherry, author of Failures of Forgiveness: What We Get Wrong and How to Do Better

• Henry Grabar, author of Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World

• Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, authors of American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15

• Héctor Tobar, author of Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino”

And we thank our selection committee: 2023 Zócalo Book Prize winner and The Fight to Save the Town author Michelle Wilde Anderson; Human Rights Watch chief communications officer Mei Fong; Marquette University historian Sergio González; creative director and Zócalo advisory board member David Lai; infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine Rekha Murthy, MD; Lawrence Welk Family Foundation president Lisa Parker; Smithsonian National Board chair Jorge Puente, MD; LAXART director and curator Hamza Walker.


Send A Letter To the Editors

    Please tell us your thoughts. Include your name and daytime phone number, and a link to the article you’re responding to. We may edit your letter for length and clarity and publish it on our site.

    (Optional) Attach an image to your letter. Jpeg, PNG or GIF accepted, 1MB maximum.