2011 was packed with drama and shock, tragedy and surprise. How history will judge these 12 months is another question: historians usually come at things once all the men and women behind the news are gone. But those of us who have followed the twists and turns of 2011 know how much it has gotten into our sinews and our psyches—from the sting of tear gas to the ambivalence of long delayed vengeance. LightBox has compiled this yearbook for 2011, literally picking a photo for each day of this astonishing year. It is a remarkable memorial to its high and low points, to agony and to exhilaration. But let the pictures speak for themselves.
news director, TIME