What Does America Owe To Veterans Of Its 21st-Century Wars? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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

We may never know the full toll of the post-9/11 wars. The staggering cost of the two-decade-long conflict, and its future consequences, are only just beginning to be understood as the United States prepares to fully withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As the final chapter of America’s longest war nears, what …

How Do Artists See the Next L.A.? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do Artists See the Next L.A.?

As Los Angeles emerges from pandemic and tumult, Angelenos are looking for new and bigger visions of the city’s future. But where will we find ideas and practical methods for transforming institutions, reimagining public policy, or reinvesting in communities? Business leaders are consumed with recovery. Elected officials aren’t trusted, because they have long failed to deliver on their biggest plans …

Does America Really Want to Be a Nation of Immigrants? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Does America Really Want to Be a Nation of Immigrants?

The year 1924 was a watershed in American immigration. A victory for the eugenics movement, the Johnson-Reed Act established race-based quotas that succeeded in limiting the entry of Jews and Catholics from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as strengthening restrictions already in place barring the entry of Asians and Africans. It would take an extraordinary political window following the …

Can Boyle Heights Save America? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Boyle Heights Save America?

Boyle Heights may be divided up by L.A. freeways and thoroughfares, but its people have a remarkable record of maintaining solidarity across racial and ethnic lines. What explains the ability of Boyle Heights residents to stick together while constantly integrating immigrants and incorporating newcomers? How has Boyle Heights kept its distinctive identity in the face of social upheaval, political transformation, …

How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One?

In 1974, American politics and pop culture intersected as never before. Norman Lear’s TV shows considered the depths of racism as Tom Bradley completed his first year in office as L.A.’s first Black mayor. Musicians like Linda Rondstadt and politicians like Jerry Brown incorporated counterculture notes into mainstream performances. And, as Watergate consumed the final days of the Nixon presidency, …

What is the Meaning of Life? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What is the Meaning of Life?

“I intend to live forever, or die trying,” said Groucho Marx. Distinguishing between life and its end may be easy for comedians, even immortal ones. But the task has proven surprisingly hard for biologists, who know too much about nature’s bewildering diversity. Modern science, for all its breakthroughs, has yet to produce a standard definition for life. What does it …