William McRaven: The Admiral (The Short List / Admiral William Mcraven)

He led the special-ops teams that took down Osama bin Laden. For both the man and his troops, it was a long time coming

Ai Weiwei: The Dissident (The Short List / Ai Weiwei)

In a year of crackdowns in China, the fate of its best-known artist held the world in suspense. How far will Ai's activism go?

Paul Ryan: The Prophet (The Short List / Paul Ryan)

The Republican congressman wrote a plan to rein in America's debt. It will shape our politics for years to come.

Kate Middleton: The Princess (The Short List / Kate Middleton)

Her wedding to Prince William captured the gaze and goodwill of millions. Now the demure, diplomatic Duchess Of Cambridge is poised to reinvest celebrity with restraint






Crazy, Stupid, Cool (The Awesome Column)

Yes, he's Canadian. But Ryan Gosling is still the Coolest Person of the Year


Your 15 Minutes Are Up

We take a moment to revisit the stories that captured headlines this year, if only briefly

The Things Of The Year

From a stunning dress and a deadly fruit to a newly discovered planet — the assorted memorabilia that helped define the past 12 months

Toppled Leaders

They started the year in power, but they didn't end it that way

Forces Of Nature

Whether by earth, air, fire or water, the world took a beating in 2011

The Amazing Race

From the first GOP debate in May, a brief history of the Republican candidates' triumphs, gaffes and comebacks

The Merkozy Index

How Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy met and met and met and met to try to save Europe from economic disaster

Trending Topics

What everyone was tweeting, posting and texting this year

Untold Stories

A year's worth of news that didn't get the attention it deserved