Could a Truth Commission Unite America?

How Fractured Nations and Communities Reckon with History and Move Toward Repair

This essay is part of the Zócalo/Mellon Foundation editorial and public program series “How Should Societies Remember Their Sins?” Register for “What Is Our Responsibility for Our Government’s Wars?,” taking place on July 12.

Can democracy stand the test of time? Many factors have triggered the deep schism in American politics today. But a root cause of our faltering democracy may be our failure to grapple with the truth about the nation’s history of discrimination and institutionalized racism. Because Americans can’t even agree on basic …

Heather McGhee Offers a New Story of American Solidarity

The 2022 Zócalo Book Prize Winner Sees Hope Beyond America’s ‘Zero-Sum’ Mindset

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize event’s return to in-person programming for the first time in three years—and the hopeful chord struck by the winning author—arrived at the ASU …

The Sects That Rejected 19th-Century Sex

Why Three Religious Groups Traded Monogamy for Celibacy, Polygamy, and Complex Marriage

Disconsolate after his beloved’s marriage to another man in 1837, a young seminarian named John Humphrey Noyes declared in a bitter, anti-love poem to his ex:

I will not give you …

Book Prize Winners 2011 to present

The 2022 Zócalo Book Prize Celebrates Human Connectedness

For 12 Years, We Have Honored Excellence in Nonfiction Exploring Community and Social Cohesion

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the U.S.-published nonfiction book that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness …

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

Journalist Jia Lynn Yang Wins the 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize

One Mighty and Irresistible Tide Challenges the Well-Worn American Immigration Narrative

Jia Lynn Yang, national editor at the New York Times, is the winner of the 11th annual Zócalo Book Prize for her debut book, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic …

Can Playwrights Lead the Next American Reconstruction? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Playwrights Lead the Next American Reconstruction?

Theater Encompasses ‘Truth, Reconciliation, and Recompense’—All Integral Ingredients to Imagine How the Country Can Build Back Better

History shows how badly Americans flubbed our First Reconstruction in the aftermath of Civil War. Although we did better, we hardly lived up to the lofty intentions of the Second …