Our Favorite Essays of 2021

At a Moment Where There Are No Easy Answers, Zócalo Contributors Asked Unexpected, Tough—and Sometimes Quixotic—Questions

It felt like 2021 was a year of firsts—the first rollout of new vaccine technology; the first insurrection in Washington, D.C.; the first female U.S. vice president; and the first time many of us returned to public life after many months at home. But if we learned anything from the approximately 200 essays we published at Zócalo over these past 12 months, it’s that almost everything has a precedent, for better and for worse.

From a world leader retreating from an unwinnable foreign war (Emperor Hadrian, circa 117 A.D.) to the …

illustration of a funeral procession

After 150 Years, Is L.A. Ready to Remember the Chinese Massacre?

Long Buried, the Bloodiest Night in the City’s History Surfaces Amid a New Wave of Violence

It’s hard to tell a city’s story. In many cities, there’s a tension between pointing with pride and bowing in shame.

Los Angeles—where I have lived and worked for most of …