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How to Lie with Charts 0th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Besides discussions of the charts themselves, the author discusses how to write and display captions, how to put charts into slides, how to make an effective slide, how to change fonts and background colors to make your chart stand out, and more.
Reading this book will also help you to discern when other people have fooled with their charts to distort them. Local newspapers, news magazines, etc. are often guilty of playing with the scale of charts, stretching things, leaving labels off of axes, and so on - you'll be able to spot these manipulations better.
I teach a college freshman course in "Quantitative Applications Software" using MS Excel; I already have a lecture I usually call "How to lie with charts and graphs" and this book will help me add more details to that lecture, which teaches students that not every graph that CAN be made, SHOULD be made. With a good graph, you should always be able to start a sentence with "This graph shows that..." and complete it with some kind of comparison.Read more ›
Lots of things get in the book's way, though. It dates from 1995, so lots of its advice about computer specifics (especially color) is dated. Although (fig. 10.4) he suggests underlining as a way to emphasize text, it was never a very good idea and has been given new meaning by conventions for hypertext links. Also, this edition is a black and white reprint of a book that seems originally to have been printed in color. That doesn't have to be a problem, but many of the original colors were replaced by annoying stipples or uneven screens, and one photo (11.2) makes no sense at all in black and white.
The worst problem is that the book often fails to follow its own good advice. Fig 3.14 uses cute 3D-ish cylinders as the bars in a bar chart, leaving the reader wondering just which part of the rounded end was meant to be the bar's end. Fig 7.8 is a supposedly good example tainted by the perspective distortion that Jones notes elsewhere. The "linked bar" of Fig. 7.10 is deceptive in that the bars themselves appear to cover some span of time, when they really represent instantaneous values.
Good advice, and there is a fair bit, often doesn't go far enough. P.105, for example, mentions log and log-log axes. Admittedly, the basic math is beyond this book's level (as shown by the blooper on p.140).Read more ›
Don't be fooled by the "Lie" in the title; the tongue-in-cheek tone of book livens up the practical nature of this book, and reflects on its mission to present facts in the most convincing, but still ethical, manner. By using popular office applications to produce the charts in the book, the information is readily translatable into solutions to everyday business challenges.
It's a great book for people who will be using facts, and presentation or spreadsheet applications, to influence decision makers.
The author explains all of the various charts available, their characteristics and how people alter their graphic works of art to influence the audience to buy into whatever the presentor wishes.
Not only does the author talk about the graphs but he explores the area of our subconcious and how this strongly influence our positive or negative perception of a chart.
The book goes into great detail and is quite humorous. The only cirticism that I have about this book is located in chapter 10. The author talks about the importance of color and how it influences the audience but he explains all of this in black and white. If you are going to encourge people to use color presentations and graphs, stop being such a tight wad and use color in your own book. Explaining tones, shades, etc., in fuzzy gray color doesn't do the job. Practice what you preach. Use color to explain color.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book I needed for a class I am taking. I easily located it online, paid, and it showed up almost immediately! Thanks for a great transaction!Published on September 8, 2013 by Errol Jones, Jr.
Very good content and comprehensive writing, although some specifications about colors in computers and printers and combinations of colors in slides are now obsolete.Published on December 23, 2009 by F. M. Morales
When is the last time you sat in a meeting and wondered if the PowerPoint charts you were being shown really represented the truth? Read morePublished on June 11, 2005 by Armchair Interviews
The writing is fairly engaging and the topic is covered fairly well, but the graphics are just awful! Read morePublished on February 11, 2003