Every year, Slate publishes a list of its most-read stories, and it’s always intriguing to see which topics piqued reader interest. In 2011, you were avidly following the red-hot Republican primary race, reading stories about Rick Perry’s ranch, and Michele Bachmann’s “crazy eyes.” You were also fascinated by the secret history of the Muppets’ catchy “Mahna Mahna” song—which has its origins in an Italian soft-core film—and enthusiastic about Farhad Manjoo’s fervent takedown of the practice of putting two spaces between sentences. But the top story of the year was “Ghost Ship,” Paul Collins’ tale of the mysterious Mary Celeste, whose crew disappeared without a trace in 1872. Below you’ll find links to Collins’ story and the rest of our most-read pieces.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Naomi Klein Is Wrong
Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.
The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.