Announcing the Zócalo 2022 Book Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Authors Heather McGhee, Sam Quinones, Edward Slingerland, and Michael Patrick F. Smith

What is racism costing all of us? How are communities across America battling the opioid crisis? Who are the people drilling in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota? And just how essential was drunkenness to the creation of civilization as we know it?

These are the questions that animate the four books shortlisted for the 2022 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize. Since 2011, we have awarded this prize annually to the author of the nonfiction book that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine …

Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …

How Venezuela’s Oil Riches Fueled a Literary Explosion

In the Mid-20th Century, Writers Seized on the Conflicts Laid Bare by Petroleum's Power to Reshape Society

On December 14, 1922, a gusher of petroleum was discovered in Zulia, a rural area of western Venezuela. For nine days the oil showered onto the surrounding farmland, scaring the …