Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes

From Why We Started Calling Ourselves 'America' to Brains With a Mind of Their Own, These 15 Books Examine Essential Questions About Who We Are

We at Zócalo have always been contrarians when it comes to what constitutes a summer reading list. Our idea of a perfect “beach read” has never been your usual summer escapist fare, which seems right for a summer devoid of the usual escapes. So, we’ve assembled a list of insightful books that can be read while sitting on the stoop, or in a comfy chair at home. And, in this time of a global pandemic and the widespread protests in response to systemic racism—it’s fitting that this year’s Book List …

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Our Favorite Essays of 2019 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …