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 …

We Shouldn’t Rely on Politicians to Memorialize Our Fallen Soldiers

Gold Star Families Need to Reach out—and Communities Need to Reach Back

Five U.S. infantry soldiers died on June 21, 2007, when their 30-ton Bradley tracked vehicle hit a deep-buried bomb in Adhamiyah, Iraq.

I was embedded as a reporter with their unit …

Why Veterans Hurt (It’s Not What You Think)

What’s Tough On Those Who Leave the Military Isn’t Remembering What Was Bad. It’s Missing What Was Good.

When I joined the Army as a 17-year-old, I expected to face many challenges and hardships as an individual—whether that meant getting yelled at or shot at or made to …

Race Is Easy. Ideology Is Hard.

Jonathan Haidt, Winner of the Third Annual Zócalo Book Prize, Explains Why Good People Demonize One Another

The Third Annual Zócalo Public Square Book Prize was made possible by the generous support of Southern California Gas Company.

“It’s a hell of a challenge to create a cohesive community …

Why Is It So Hard For Us To Get Along?

The Righteous Mind

Americans have always be divided by race and background, but today we’re just as likely to be divided by our politics. Evolution, according to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, has wired …

Happy 10th Birthday, Zócalo, Unlikely Child of Passion

I Used to Be a Happy Loner. Now I Host L.A.'s Public Square.

It’s amazing what you can do when somebody ticks you off. A decade ago, I was a solitary writer whose idea of community was pretty much limited to tequila-infused evenings …