The 11 1/2 Biggest Ideas of the Year

Creating the 2008 Ideas Issue prompted The Atlantic’s editors to start debating which ideas—good and bad—most informed the national conversation over the past twelve months. Herewith the result: a thumbnail intellectual history of the year.

1 The Surge
by James Fallows

2 Renting
by Clive Crook

3 Post-Partisanship
by Jonathan Rauch

4 Mass-Market Atheism
by Ross Douthat

5 We Tortured
by Andrew Sullivan

6 MySpace Politics
by Joshua Green

7 The Return of Regulation
by Clive Crook

8 Personal Genomics
by Charles C. Mann

9 Not Bombing Iran
by Jonathan Rauch

10 Carbon Consciousness
by Megan McArdle

11 The End of 9/11
by James Fallows

11.5 It's Lonely at the Top
by Hanna Rosin

Lists: Ideas Whose Time Has Come

Submit your own suggestions for the idea (or ideas) that have been most important this year. Some submissions may be included in part or in full in a future issue of the magazine.

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