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Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Envisioning Information
Visual Explanations
Beautiful Evidence
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Visual and Statistical Thinking $2
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Data Analysis for Politics and Policy $2
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Presenting Data and Information
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The Life of Charles Joseph Minard (1781-1870)


-- Edward Tufte

Biography of Minard

Minard constructed the amazing graphic of the French invasion of Russia. His son-in-law wrote a long memoir of Minard, which has now been translated by Dawn Finley as part of the research in progress for Beautiful Evidence. This is the only substantial biography of Minard. It is posted at


-- Edward Tufte

I came upon the following site while looking for biographical information on Minard ...


-- Michael Round (email)

I was moved by you to respond to an enthusiastic Bonapartisme in Christopher Lydon's discussion of Victor Hugo and _Les Miserables_, on his radio / internet blog http://www.radioopensource.org -- with Minard's Carte Figurative:


Thanks -

Alex Brown http://gis.uml.edu/abrown2

-- Alex Brown (email)

The year end edition of The Economist cites Minard's map as one of the best three graphics in history, as well as quoting 'Visual Display' and part of an obituary. http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=10278643&fsrc=nwlptwfree

The other two are Playfair's wheat prices and Nightingale's Crimean disease graphic. Nice article.


-- Kevin Northover (email)

I wanted to contribute this find to the thread:


It is a representation of Minard's awesome graphic layered on top of a Google-Map using an awesome Javascript graphics library.

-- Jarrod (email)

Readers may like to know about Mark Knopfler's song, "Done With Bonaparte" which follows the events in Napoleon's Moscow campaign. There's a good version of it with Emmylou Harris on "Real Live Roadrunning". The first verse:

We've paid in hell since Moscow burned These Cossacks tear us piece by piece Our dead are strewn a hundred leagues Though death would be a sweet release And our Grande Armee is dressed in rags A frozen starving beggar band Like rats we steal each other's scraps Fall to fighting hand to hand...

-- John Lynch (email)

Threads relevant to some interesting people: