A Tsar Is Born (Person of the Year)

Vladimir Putin is no ordinary politician. He is charmless yet adored by his nation. He took a country in chaos and remade it in his own image: tough, aggrieved, defiant. An interview and dinner with the man who tamed Russia

A Bible, but No E-Mail (Person Of The Year / Interview)

In an interview with TIME, Putin opens a window on his life

In Search Of Russia's Big Idea

A road trip through the heartland reveals a country caught between its best and worst traditions, as dreamers, drunks, despots and dissidents all battle for Russia's soul

#2 Al Gore (Person Of The Year Runner-up)

The former Vice President, now a Nobel laureate, has become America's environmental conscience

#3 J.K. Rowling (Person Of The Year Runner-up)

Harry's done, but the best-selling author in history still has some secrets she can finally share

#4 Hu Jintao (Person Of The Year Runner-up)

China's leader depends on both ancient wisdom and communist doctrine as guides to action

#5 David Petraeus (Person Of The Year Runner-up)

The commanding general in Iraq fought America's most difficult foreign war — and one at home


These people left us in 2007, but they left us with something


10 Questions for Richard Branson

Nicknamed the Rebel Billionaire for his daredevil stunts, the Virgin megabrand founder was just dubbed Citizen of the Year by the U.N. for his eco-advocacy. Richard Branson will now take your questions


Postcard: Bethlehem

In a peaceable season, the birthplace of Jesus is anything but. That's not what Christmas was always like here. In little ways, Muslims and Christians can still find joy


Road Test (Manufacturing)

Russia has become a stepping-stone for Chinese automakers eager to expand overseas


Lord of the Jungle (Architecture)

Though disdained as an élitist, Geoffrey Bawa revolutionized tropical architecture by blending modern ideas and traditional forms