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New books

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I’ve been meaning to read Ian McEwan’s new novel “Solar” since it came out on March 30 — a new novel by McEwan is always a large treat for me, and I’ve been savoring the prospect of this new read. Despite its somewhat mixed reviews, the premise of this new – and comic – novel […] [Read More]

A closer look at In Cold Blood

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I picked up Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood this summer and slowly worked my way through most of it, only to leave it lying unattended by my bedside for months. Not that it isn’t a gripping tale. The non-fiction, which details the murder of a family of four in rural Kansas, often has the same […] [Read More]

Freakonomics, Super edition, belated review

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I finished Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, last week but, with the president’s visit and increasing election coverage, haven’t had time yet to give you an update. So here it comes, though I’m not going to review it, per se. As you may know, the book’s stirred some controversy because the scientist quoted […] [Read More]

Health care without the insurance, and the prescription

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Still on the search for a fix for his sore shoulder, Reid leaves Canada before the end of the book to visit India and pay out of pocket at an ayurvedic clinic. I’ll save you the suspense: After weeks spent eating healthfully, relaxing, and being intensely massaged, Reid’s shoulder felt better and had a better […] [Read More]

Health care news.

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As you all probably know by now, the Senate Finance Committee, one of five Congressional committees critical to health care reform, rejected two proposals Tuesday that would have created a public insurance plan to compete with private health insurance companies. The public option has been a constant demand of more liberal lawmakers but is widely […] [Read More]

Actually socialized health care

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Whenever politicians talk about health care reform, Americans probably fear most the systems Britain and Canada have. It makes no difference that Reid and many others who have benefited from them extol their virtues. These systems are so different from what the U.S. does that they’re not likely to be implemented soon anyway.* Britain is […] [Read More]

France, Germany, and Japan

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Before he takes us to France, T.R. Reid explores all of the things that might increase medical care costs for Americans as opposed to their counterparts in other countries. He disabuses us of two notions right away: that it’s doctors salaries and malpractice insurance. Doctors do get paid more in the U.S. than they do […] [Read More]

Weighing in with policy

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It’s important to know before reading “The Healing of America” that the author, T.R. Reid, takes as a given that the health care system in America is broken. This seems pretty uncontroversial to me at this point. Nearly everyone agrees on the diagnosis; it was a big campaign issue for both Democrats and Republicans in […] [Read More]

Health care systems in other countries

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While the health care debate looms as a major issue when Washington gets back from vacation, we’re planning to read a journalist’s look at health care systems in other countries after we get back from vacation. Start reading T.R. Reid’s The Healing of America with us after Labor Day. [Read More]

Memories of the late Frank McCourt, seven months after our interview

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When I interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt back on Jan. 20, in anticipation of his talk at Purchase (N.Y.) College the following week, he sounded positively vibrant. His incisive remarks on the American education system, memoir writing and the inauguration of President Barack Obama bespoke a man who was still very much passionate about […] [Read More]