It’s Time for the U.S. to Manifest Humility

America's Political Crack-Up Is an Opportunity to Learn More From the Rest of the World

Political hysteria has conquered America—and made the United States much more like the rest of the world.

So argued the London-based essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra during a fast-paced and wide-ranging Zócalo/Noēma Magazine online event yesterday, titled “Has Hysteria Conquered America?”

Mishra and The Atlantic senior editor Ronald Brownstein, who served as discussion moderator, spent over an hour discussing how international trends and intellectual history might explain today’s American politics.

Those politics, Mishra and Brownstein agreed, are full of conspiracy theories, xenophobia, over-the-top rhetoric, and questionable thinking. Over the course of the event, …

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason

The Constitution Defines Treason Narrowly. That Hasn’t Stopped the Overblown Rhetoric

The last four years have been a strange time to be a scholar of American treason law. The members of this tiny (and I mean really tiny) group used to …

When Presidential Silence Speaks Louder than Words | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Presidential Silence Speaks Louder than Words

What We Can Learn From JFK’s Decision to Abandon a Speech on the Nuclear Crisis

President Trump’s speech before the Republican National Convention (RNC) will provide an interesting coda to a year marred by White House communication blunders. In March, as COVID-19 took over newsfeeds …

Why Does the 2020 Presidential Campaign Feel So Loud and Angry? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Does the 2020 Presidential Campaign Feel So Loud and Angry?

In an Age of 'Post-Rhetorical' Politics, Candidates Now Compete, Rather Than Cooperate, With the Media

Presidential candidates have long found ways to take their messages directly to the voters, by avoiding the filter of press coverage. But today, candidates have gone steps further, turning themselves …

How Three Texas Newspapers Manufactured Three Competing Images of Immigrants | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Three Texas Newspapers Manufactured Three Competing Images of Immigrants

In Depression-Era San Antonio, Polarized Portraits of Mexicans Appealed to the Biases of Readers

In August 1930, an editorial writer for the largest newspaper chain on Earth proclaimed: “THE FARMER rids his barn of rats, his hen-house of weasels … the government of the …

Beware the Propagandist You See In the Mirror | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Beware the Propagandist You See In the Mirror

Americans Are Overwhelmed by Persuasive Messaging, Even as They Bombard Each Other

On any given day, Americans are inundated with persuasive messages, otherwise known as propaganda, from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. These messages—their positive …