Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History

Jesse Amble White’s Photographs Show Modern Landscapes That ‘Push Back at the Moment’

All but one of these photographs of California by Jesse White come from California Exposures, a book that he and I, his father, did together. Like all photographs, they don’t speak for themselves. They demand a thousand words. They are part of a conversation, and they are as apt to ask questions as give answers. The photographs of California Exposures tell a history of California, but not in the conventional sense.

The photographs are historical not because they are old—all were taken within the last few years—but because the elements you …

What the Fictional Town of Virgin River Gets Right About California’s Future | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What the Fictional Town of Virgin River Gets Right About California’s Future

It’s Not Exactly Romantic, but the Golden State’s Urban and Rural Areas Should Embrace Their Shared Destiny 

Melinda “Mel” Monroe, a 32-year-old nurse practitioner and midwife, is working at a major L.A. County hospital when her husband suddenly dies. Grief-stricken and seeking to get away, she takes …

Will COVID-19 Finally Convince Us to Do Better by Farmworkers? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will COVID-19 Finally Convince Us to Do Better by Farmworkers?

The Current Crisis, and Longstanding Conditions, Argue for Enforcing Laws and Offering Better Protections—From Face Masks to Retirement Accounts

In California, the COVID-19 shutdown coincided with the lettuce season in the small Fresno County town of Huron. Its mayor, Rey León, has since been struggling to convey shifting safety …

In 1910, Jack London Saw COVID Coming  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In 1910, Jack London Saw COVID Coming 

In The Scarlet Plague, the California Author Imagined a 21st-Century Epidemic Hitting the Bay Area and the World

Jack London saw this coming. So why didn’t we?

In 1910 the California author, already famous for The Call of the Wild and White Fang, wrote a short post-apocalyptic …

A Letter From Sacramento, Where Fear Grows as Flowers Bloom | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Sacramento, Where Fear Grows as Flowers Bloom

A Survivor of 1954’s Polio Epidemic Welcomes Social Distancers to His Garden

SACRAMENTO—Our front garden hit peak bloom just as the COVID-19 death toll passed 200 in California. As usual, the California golden poppies seized control of the gravel borders along the …

Paradise’s Charred Remains | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Paradise’s Charred Remains

A Photographer and a Writer Document Five Generations of Family Mementos After the 2019 Camp Fire

On November 8, 2018, endless images streamed from the Camp Fire in my hometown of Paradise, California. A single day generated thousands of pictures that filled the world with a …