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Columns

Column: The Harm of Overdiagnosing Breast Cancer

Sunday, August 2, 2015

If you haven’t gotten this message already, you should heed it now: The benefits of screening for breast cancer are limited. We should be doing fewer screening mammograms, not more. The data that support this conclusion come from studying the effects of mammography across time and place. A couple of years ago a colleague and I reported on the effect across time. We found that the initiation of widespread screening in the United States during the 1980s was associated with a substantial increase in the number of women found with early-stage breast cancer, but it didn’t yield much of a decrease in the number found …

Column: Why Bernie Sanders Will Not Be Able to Pull Off the Upset

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hillary Clinton is once again campaigning for president as the prohibitive front-runner, and once again, she faces a challenge from an insurgent progressive outsider with grass-roots support. And once again, while Clinton (re)introduced herself to voters in a low-key listening tour of sorts, her challenger was drawing huge audiences —10,000 in Madison, Wis., …

Column: Candidates Struggle to Relate to an Atomized Electorate

Sunday, August 2, 2015

This year’s presidential field is one of the most crowded and diverse in modern history. This has its carnival aspects — as with the furor over Donald Trump’s provocative statements on immigration and crime. But Trump’s remarks have resonated for a reason. They are rooted in the Republican Party’s current struggle to adjust …

Roaring 20s Series: Dylan Nicholas; ‘All I Have to Do Is Just Believe’

Sunday, July 19, 2015

For self-described “Georgia boy” Dylan Nicholas, church and faith were central to his successful transition to the Upper Valley with his wife, Aimee, in their early 20s. “It felt like home very, very quick to me. I think …

Column: The French Revolution Is Shrouded in Myth

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two hundred twenty-six years after the fall of the Bastille, the French Revolution stirs passions mostly among historians like myself. But many of the myths surrounding the revolution have proved difficult to extinguish. Even the name Bastille Day …

Column: Harvard Law School Classmates Meet Again, in Very Different Circumstances

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Washington The judge settled his gaze on the homeless man accused of sleeping beside an office building in downtown Washington. It was a Saturday afternoon in early April at D.C. Superior Court, and Alfred Postell, a diagnosed schizophrenic, …

Steve Nelson: More Sanders, Less Trump

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What does Bernie Sanders have to do to be taken seriously? This week Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker joined the growing field of GOP candidates. He is apparently a favorite of the notorious Koch brothers, who plan to spend about $1 billion to influence the 2016 presidential election. In …

Column: The Grace I Encountered in Charleston, S.C.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A young mother hands a pen to her daughter, who is decked out in Lululemon attire, so she can write a message to the fallen nine in Charleston, S.C. Behind them stand three African-American bikers, one wearing a …

Column: Why I Named MY Son Atticus

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Antwerp, Ohio It was my husband who suggested the name Atticus for our first child. As To Kill a Mockingbird was my favorite book, I immediately agreed. Atticus Christopher Sorrell was born on May 6, 1995. We read the book to Atticus as an infant and talked about …

Column: Let Greece Cash In Its Euros

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You may believe that Greece’s economic pain is mostly the doing of heartless and inept decision makers in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin. You may believe that the Greeks’ fecklessness has been so extreme that cutting them any kind of slack will destroy the credibility of the euro. Either …

Column: When Reagan Negotiated

Friday, July 17, 2015

Washington When President Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in November 1985, he whispered to the Soviet leader: “I bet the hard-liners in both our countries are bleeding when we shake hands.” Reagan had a point. His …

Column: Bush and Clinton Are Both Wrong on Jobs

Friday, July 17, 2015

What do Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have in common? Not that much, you might think, but on the stump, both have sounded one similar note: They’re both worried about Americans who want to work more, but can’t. Jeb Bush has taken a lot of chaffing for his …

Editorial: Not the Final Frontier

Friday, July 17, 2015

The first detailed glimpse of Pluto was a stunner: A mottled, multicolored orb, shimmering 3 billion miles from Earth. It has craters, “great mounds,” a mysterious dark belt along the equator — even suggestions of snowfall. The photos came from the NASA spacecraft New Horizons, which has reached …