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Welcome to the January issue of Vox’s The Highlight

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has grand plans for wealth distribution. Plus: “Death positivity,” a pernicious comedy trend, and John Lewis’s forgotten words.

Chris Hughes works in his office at the Economic Security Project in New York City.
Annie Tritt for Vox
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Chris Hughes is one of the three founders of Facebook, less recognizable than Mark Zuckerberg, but behind the scenes, and no less ambitious. In the decade since he left the company, Hughes has been alternately heralded and derided for his post-tech career choices. He joined the Obama campaign, tried being a titan of legacy media, and then, last year, made waves as he called for the dismantling of the very social media monolith that had made him a multimillionaire.

On our cover this month, Vox’s Dylan Matthews examines Hughes’s transformation from Facebook founder to a philanthropist on a mission to end monopolies and create a basic income. But such exercises of power by the ultra-wealthy, often cloaked as philanthropy, don’t always get the desired reception. So what does the moneyed tech founder really want?

Also in this issue, we look at the millennials who are confronting the prospect of their own deaths (after being inspired by climate change and boomers’ failures); a writer asks why comedians, television shows, and movies still trade in jokes about Asian American stereotypes; and we find inspiration in lines cut from a famous John Lewis speech.

Photos of Chris Hughes, with text saying “Harvard grad. Facebook millionaire. Class warrior?”

Chris Hughes wants another chance

The multimillionaire Facebook co-founder is the latest moneyed titan to turn philanthropist, and has even called for Facebook’s dismantling. Can he really make a difference?

By Dylan Matthews

Amanda Lucier for Vox

Why millennials are the “death positive” generation

Unlike boomers, young people are embracing planning their own funerals. It’s fueling changes in the death industry.

By Eleanor Cummins

Zac Freeland/Vox

Why are Asian Americans still the butt of the joke in pop culture?

Asian Americans like me are grappling with a culture that’s still okay with making fun of us.

By Naveen Kumar

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

John Lewis and the beginning of an era

The civil rights icon was told to cut a too-radical line from a famous speech. It says a lot about who he was.

By Paul Butler

Future Perfect

Our love of orcas is making them miserable


Mud libraries hold the story of the Earth’s climate past — and foretell its future


How to talk to a loved one about their health

View all stories in The Highlight