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Pencils, Prisoners, and Lonely Planet: 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!

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. Why, then, is it so quick to defend the status quo of countries under authoritarian rule?

Foreign Policy | 10 min (2,412 words)

Just when violence on Riker’s Island got especially bad, a rogue task force made it worse.

Village Voice | 13 min (3,314 words)

Religion, critics say, spoils the mind and dulls our capacity for reason. But does faith make us better people? 

Chronicle of Higher Education | 14 min (3,534 words)