A Young Bride Among the Roustabouts of Santa Fe

My Great-Great Grandmother Missed the Gentle, Green Valleys of Germany, But Our Jewish Family Needed a New Start

When my great-great-grandmother set out for New Mexico territory in 1866, she spoke no English. Nor did she speak any Spanish.

German was her native language; Yiddish as well. Julia Staab was a German Jew from a small village in Prussia. I don’t know how her marriage to my great-great-grandfather Abraham Staab came about—if it was arranged beforehand, or if they chose each other. But I do know that they were in a hurry to begin their married life in Santa Fe—to inhabit their American Dream.

Abraham was, anyway. He …

Why Can’t Americans Talk About Equality?

Political Philosopher Danielle Allen, Winner of the Fifth Annual Zócalo Book Prize, on the Fundamental Ideal We Tossed Aside in Favor of Freedom

Ferguson, Missouri and policing problems. The rising income gap. Creating institutions to serve a future majority-minority country. Open a newspaper in America today, and a host of problems present themselves …

Must We Choose Between Freedom and Equality?

Our Declaration

As schoolchildren we learn that all people–and all Americans–are created equal. But sometimes it feels as if this country’s leaders have forgotten that equality is one of the tenets this …

Are Californians Big Losers?

From the Gold Rush to Marriage Equality, This State’s Success Stories Have Always Followed Spectacular Failures

How do you win in California? Lose big first.

That’s a very old bit of wisdom in a state founded by people who abandoned their homes and families to move here …

What’s in the Closet of the U.S. Government?

The ‘Lavender Scare,’ a 40-Year Purge of Government Workers Suspected of Being Gay or Lesbian

Bruce Forbes couldn’t believe his good luck. He had spent nearly 10 years as a Foreign Service officer with assignments from Palermo to Prague, but when he was appointed vice …

Wait, So What’s the Law On Same-Sex Marriage Exactly?

The Supreme Court Resolved Some Big Issues. It Also Triggered About a Thousand Follow-Up Questions.

Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have settled some questions: Federal discrimination against same-sex marriages is now unconstitutional. California must now reopen marriage to same-sex couples. But the decisions …