The New Republic Staff

Mormons in Kosovo, Geopolitics at the Olympics, and the Value of Harsh Criticism: Today's TNR Reader
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August 17, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Mormon missionaries in Kosovo: a new and curious addition to a complicated religious landscape. Religion and Politics | 6 min (1,435 words) You can view the Olympics as a thrilling athletic spectacle.

Literary Fakes, Ugly Buildings, and Secret Drones: Today's TNR Reader
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August 16, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy!  Quantitative approaches to the humanities are in. But will they ruin the arts?  Scientific American | 8 min (1,934 words) The Literary Fake: Is fiction that pretends to be true a harmless rhetorical game, or something darker?  New Haven Review | 37 min (9,178 words) Chicago is America’s first architectural city.

Pencils, Prisoners, and Lonely Planet: Today's TNR Reader
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August 15, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Eraserhead: A brief history of our messy, affectionate relationship with the pencil eraser. The New Yorker | 3 min (834 words) Lonely Planet is the guidebook of choice for lefty backpackers.

Taxes, Table Tennis, and the American Dream: Today's TNR Reader
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August 14, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Obama should take on Romney’s tax record. It would make for a powerful story about wealth and privilege that the president doesn’t want to tell. Rolling Stone | 5 min (1,168 words) Gu Kailai has been cast as a woman driven to murder by greed and overwhelming ambition. The historical precedent for this figure?

Apocalyptic Lit, Pornographic Lit, Ultra-Orthodox Lit: Today's TNR Reader
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August 13, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Ultra-orthodox women’s lit is on the rise. Who are the women behind it? Tablet | 7 min (1,686 words) The cult of busyness: Does working hard make us less productive? New Statesman | 4 min (1,019 words) Michel Houellebecq’s novels are apocalyptic and pornographic.

Obama's Europe Troubles, Thomas Friedman’s Self Indulgence, and Women with Guns: Today's TNR Reader
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August 10, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Thomas Friedman’s columns are not just self-indulgent. They are an assault on humanity. Jacobin Magazine | 7 min (1,717 words) One woman reflects: does owning a gun make her, and other black females, a frontier feminist or an insurrectionist? Bitch Magazine | 15 min (3,803 words) Obama inherited strained relationships with Europe.

Life on Earth, Life on Mars, and General Butt Naked: Today's TNR Reader
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August 09, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! The gods of Autocorrect are impish and fickle. What weird magic turns “Capistrano” into “campus tramp”? New York Times | 4 min (1,015 words) NASA’s new rover is busy hunting for life on Mars. But it can also tell us a lot about our own planet’s climate. Mother Jones | 3 min (634 words) The warlord General Butt Naked saw an apparition of Jesus and became an evangelical minister.

Sex and Birth, Volcanoes and Religion, Drawings and Death: Today's TNR Reader
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August 08, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! In Edward Gorey’s drawings, a macabre imagination meets a whimsical spirit. NYRB | 9 min (2,163 words) Novelists love writing about sex.

From the Archives: Robert Hughes on the Twilight of American Art
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August 07, 2012

Robert Hughes—a cultural critic of great intelligence and influence—died yesterday in a hospital in the Bronx. An outspoken adversary of all that was glib and derivative in late-twentieth century art, Hughes didn’t shy away from his reputation as an elitist. But he believed in the power of art, privileging its social import over any monetary valuation.

Poetry and Law, God and Food, Man and Myth: Today's TNR Reader
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August 07, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Usain Bolt is part man, part myth. And his outsized fame may be his greatest feat of all. Spiegel Online | 12 min (3,038 words) God and Graham crackers: The surprising religious roots of American foodie-ism. Religion and Politics | 9 min (2,148 words) Joe Arpaio has branded himself as America’s meanest sheriff.

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