Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening?
This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.
A Life in China with Te-Ping Chen
We largely hear about China in the news through the lens of what the Chinese government is doing, but it is a country with over a billion people and a history thousands of years old. For as large and influential as it is, Americans do not consume Chinese cultural exports in the same way that China does in the reverse. Chinese made movies are not screened in most theaters across the United States. We do not watch Chinese sitcoms dubbed. While China and other countries regularly consume American culture that show peeks of what life is like in United States, we don’t have the same regular access to those windows of everyday China. So, what is life like in China? This week journalist and author Te-Ping Chen joins to talk about her time as a student and journalist in China and her new book of short stories In the “Land of Big Numbers”.
The Premonition with Michael Lewis
Back in 2019, a panel of health experts declared that of every country in the whole world, the United States was the most prepared for handling a pandemic. So what went wrong? Acclaimed author Michael Lewis is unparalleled in unearthing the most compelling characters to tell an unexpected story – it’s no wonder he’s had multiple books turned into movies (The Blind Side, Moneyball, The Big Short). Now, Lewis has done it again with his latest book, “The Premonition”, following the people who spent years preparing for a pandemic only to be ignored at the most crucial juncture – to devastating results.
Is Bitcoin for Real? with Joe Weisenthal
How does bitcoin work? Where did it come from, why does it exist, and will it ever be used for everyday purchases? Far from some passing fad, bitcoin has been around for more than a decade now and shows no signs of going anywhere. We figured it was long overdue to understand the most well-known cryptocurrency and the problem it is trying to solve. Lucky for us, Bloomberg editor Joe Weisenthal came prepared.
The Whiteness of Wealth with Dorothy A. Brown
Racial hierarchy in America is deeply embedded in big structural institutions. From housing to criminal justice to education, there’s decades of scholarly work and research dissecting the lasting legacies of policies that disproportionately disenfranchise people of color. Now, tax law scholar Dorothy A. Brown has a mind-blowing new book about race and tax, uncovering the ways the tax code is constructed to build white wealth while impoverishing black Americans. In a conversation that is engaging, enlightening, and even laugh out loud funny (seriously), Brown lays out the culmination of her life’s work and explains why now could be the time to fix the system.
The Endurance of Wikipedia with Katherine Maher
Wikipedia is a vestige of an earlier de-commodified, open sourced internet. This week Katherine Maher, the departing CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, joins to talk about the history of Wikipedia, its organization, and its ability to endure amidst a changing internet.
Vaccines: How Do They Work? with Dr. Peter Hotez
What happens in your body after you get a vaccine? The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines feels like the first positive mile marker in the pandemic but folks have a lot of questions – How were they developed? How do they work? Is there anything we should worry about?