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 Reconstruction during Civil Rights. Now we may well need a Third Reconstruction—a New Reconstruction—if we ever truly want to unite our divided states.

When the new Confederate insurrectionists entered the Capitol on January 6 with their old battle flag, their white aggrievement, and their plan to sabotage the democratic transition of power, the American system held firm and stayed functional—barely. Now …

Richard Kreitner and Elizabeth Mitchell | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is It Time to Consider Lincoln More Critically? 

President Abraham Lincoln’s Relationship With the Press Is a Warning on Executive Overreach

Surely, every debate about Abraham Lincoln has been had, and every story told—from his childhood splitting rails and his battle with depression to his cabinet of former rivals and his …

When a Violent Mob Stormed Rome’s Capitol | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When a Violent Mob Stormed Rome’s Capitol

Over 2,000 Years Ago, a Losing Politician Incited His Followers to Riot. It Ended in Death, Destruction, and Civil War

A politician-incited, post-election riot at a Capitol, seeking to block the result of a peculiar voting system, is not news. Ancient Romans witnessed something very similar.

On December 9, 100 B.C., …

An Election Observer in El Salvador Looks Back | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

An Election Observer in El Salvador Looks Back

Fall 2020 Reminds Me of 1994, When I Watched for Fraud and Intimidation as a War-Torn Nation Voted

In downtown San Miguel, long lines of voters snaked around the block in the pre-dawn darkness. It was still an hour before the open-air election booths on the sidewalks lining …

Jefferson Davis’s Lesser-Known Nemesis | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Jefferson Davis’s Lesser-Known Nemesis

Henry Stuart Foote and the Confederate President Supported Slavery—But Loathed One Another

On Christmas morning, 1847, six important men assembled at a large boarding house in Washington, D.C., ostensibly for casual, after-breakfast conversation. In the parlance of the era, it was a …

How the ‘Yellow House’ Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the Yellow House Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital

The Notorious Jail Lent Institutional Support to Slavery Throughout the South

Washington, D.C., was a capital not just of the United States, but of slavery, serving as a major depot in the domestic slave trade. In the District, enslaved men, women, …