103 episodes

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.

Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes NBC News

    • Politics

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.

    Between God and Man with Daniel M. Lavery

    Between God and Man with Daniel M. Lavery

    "What if you were a man, sort of?" In his new memoir, author Daniel M. Lavery remembers how, in the early days of his transition, he would say it was as if a demon ambushed him in the night, whispered this question into his ear, and then disappeared without another word. It was an immediate and instantaneous revelation, but also exceptionally vague on what was supposed to happen next. "Something That May Shock and Discredit You" (published under Daniel Mallory Ortberg - he got married!) is a sprawling collection of essays, pop culture pulls, comedic historical re-tellings, and personal reflections on Lavery's life as a transgender man. It is equal parts hilarious, poignant, weird and beautiful, jumping from the Rapture to transition to Mean Girls to sobriety and then over to Marcus Aurelius, for good measure. Together they form an evocative and personal look at Lavery's own journey, and what happens when you stop letting "I dare not" wait upon "I dare".




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    Something That May Shock and Discredit You

    • 50 min
    The Gettable Voter with Jon Favreau

    The Gettable Voter with Jon Favreau

    Democrats can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Another four years of a Trump White House is not a foregone conclusion. With nine months to go before the general election, there’s a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty hanging over many of us about the future of the American republic. Amidst this fear, Democratic voters are deciding which candidate is best suited to run against the President. But a lot of the fights over who that person could be are actually fights over how to build a coalition of voters big enough to beat Donald Trump in the electoral college. In envisioning how to build that coalition, you have to look at the margins. If the solid-blue, never-Trump contingency make up the reliable core of the voting bloc, then the folks on the margins are key to solving the puzzle of 2020. Former Obama speechwriter and Crooked Media co-founder Jon Favreau spent time talking with members of this crucial group in four battleground states for the second season of his podcast, "The Wilderness". He joins to discuss what a winning coalition could look like.

    RELATED LINKS:

    The Wilderness

    Politics is for Power




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    Organizing in Trump Country with George Goehl

    Building a Progressive Majority Dorian Warren

    • 52 min
    The Frontlines of Addiction with Beth Macy

    The Frontlines of Addiction with Beth Macy

    This is an intimate portrait of what addiction looks like in America. From the board rooms of pharmaceutical companies to the living rooms across America, Beth Macy traces the path of devastation wrought by opioids. Her latest book, “Dopesick” gives life to the urgency of the epidemic, illustrating just how woefully insufficient the national response has been to the scale of the crisis. She lays out the often-insurmountable barriers that stand between someone suffering and the treatment they need, and why stigma may be the biggest obstacle of them all.

    RELATED READING:

    Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

    Dying to Be Free by Jason Cherkis

    In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids by Travis Rieder

    My friend and I both took heroin. He overdosed. Why was I charged with his death? By Morgan Godvin

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    Dying of Whiteness with Jonathan Metzl

    • 56 min
    Why We’re Polarized with Ezra Klein

    Why We’re Polarized with Ezra Klein

    The title says it all on this one, folks. What is it about the American political system that cultivated this deeply dysfunctional and polarized climate? Last year, we had Ezra Klein on the show to assess how bad things were in the Trump era (conclusion: not great). Now, Klein is back to discuss his new book "Why We're Polarized" which provides a systematic look at the deep structural defects in American democracy that are manifesting themselves in two coalitions that are increasingly at each other's throats. 

    Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein

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    White Identity Politics with Michael Tesler

    The Information Crisis with David Roberts

    How Bad Is It? with Ezra Klein

    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Uneven Playing Field with Howard Bryant

    The Uneven Playing Field with Howard Bryant

    Professional sports are never more than an inch away from the deepest core of what's happening in America. They are an amazing crucible of politics and culture that manage to reflect the issues we are working through as a country. And because these spaces are so integrated, particularly in football and basketball, racial politics quickly come to the foreground. This is the intersection ESPN writer Howard Bryant examines in his new book "Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field". In it, he explores what it means to be black in an industry hostile to blackness. Why isn't Colin Kaepernick playing in the NFL, why do football games have military flyovers, and when do opinions become dangerous? What is happening with the Houston Astros cheating scandal? And why should non-sports fans care about what happens to players with multi-million-dollar contracts? Howard Bryant has the answers.

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    Full Dissidence by Howard Bryant

    Twilight of the Elites by Chris Hayes

    • 57 min
    Trump and Evangelicals with Mark Galli

    Trump and Evangelicals with Mark Galli

    Why do white evangelical Christians support President Trump? They delivered him 81% of their votes on election day and consistently give him higher favorability ratings than any other voting bloc. As former Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli puts it, white evangelicals elected Trump to be their champion. So these were the exact people Galli hoped were listening when he published a stunning op-ed titled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office”. It was a daring departure for the signature publication of white evangelicals and the piece immediately attracted huge amounts of attention. For Galli, the President had crossed a line and he felt it was time his community reckoned with that fact. But will they?

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    Trump Should Be Removed from Office by Mark Galli

    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

    • 58 min

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