Editor’s Note: Well 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!

George Orwell, argues Christopher Hitchens, was a man who constantly wrestled with his own shortcomings and prejudices. That struggle helped make him one of the century's greatest writers.

Vanity Fair | 11 min (2,857 words)

With Google and Gutenberg, research has never been easier. But John Sutherland remembers the romance of dusty archives, and the thrill of the hunt.

Times Higher Education | 7 min (1,675 words)

Can nonprofits run cities? Is Detroit the future of America? Welcome to your new government.

Next American City | 18 min (4,618 words) 

From gold doubloons and cowrie shells to Paypal: the evolution of money

IEEE Spectrum | 16 min (4,015 words)