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China's Fear of a Flower and Christopher Isherwood's Soft Side: Today's TNR Reader

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 western is usually considered the most American of film genres. There was a time, however, when it was downright subversive.

NYRB | 6 min (1, 379 words)

Is China the next great global power? Maybe. But the country's rulers are weak and insecure. Witness their response to, of all things, a flower.

Slate | 10 min (2, 469 words)

Christopher Isherwood was a vain, misanthropic, anti-Semitic hypochondriac. But the diaries of his later years reveal that he could also be, against all his better instincts, loving.

The Guardian | 8 min (2, 008 words)

Lewis Black is back. Not with a rant, or a lecture, but with a play. 

The New Yorker | 3 min (827 words)