Our Favorite Essays of 2019

This Year, Our Contributors Wrestled With Humanity's Enduring Puzzles, Ranging From the Elusive Power of Silence to the Invention of Belief

At their best, Zócalo’s essays induce the same broad thinking as the most engrossing puzzles. A puzzle, by its very nature, forces us to confront tricky questions while resolving where we fit in a bigger picture.

In the midst of a confounding year, Zócalo’s contributors were able to do just that—piecing together answers to surprising questions from history, art, and science on our pages.

How was the idea of belief transformed in the 17th century? Why do we all remember that Lizzie Borden “gave her father 40 whacks”? How did …

More In: Readings

Zócalo’s 2019 Summer Reading List Stares Unblinking Into the Sun

From the Cruel Logic of Misogyny to the Paradox of ‘Perfect Victims,’ These 11 Nonfiction Books Will Illuminate Your World

As the summer solstice draws near, the days in the northern hemisphere grow longer and hotter. And while there are countless things we can do with the season’s extra light, …

Our Favorite Zócalo Essays of 2018

Whether Exploring Iran, Venezuela, or the American South, Our Contributors Zig and Zag Across the World of Ideas

During a tough year, Zócalo’s diverse contributors took on tough questions—puzzling over what it means to be legally dead, contemplating the escapism of television in an imploding Venezuela, exploring the …

Eleven Books That Got Us Through 2018

From the Human Brain to Nietzsche’s Heart, Zócalo’s Favorite Nonfiction of the Year

In our hunt for the most eclectic stories and ideas of the day, we come across a lot of great writing, and our holiday season gift to you is this …

Zócalo Cracks the Mystery of Your Summer Reading List

From Montezuma to Proust to House Flies, These 10 Nonfiction Books Will Expand Your Seasonal Horizons

This summer, we finally may solve major mysteries: Can Keanu Reeves credibly play a scientist seeking to bring his dead family back to life? Can England win the World Cup …