I am a huge fan of the ideas of Edward Tufte, and his thoughts on information design. I was hooked from the first page in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and got a lot of value out of seeing him speak live.
The problem I have, I guess, is that Beautiful Evidence offers nothing new, especially if one had read his chapter about Sparklines. The book is beautifully made, and is a joy to see, but it is more a coffee table text now than a serious intellectual effort. I get the sense that Tufte has said anything original that he’s ever going to say, and now he’s just going to throw some examples at us, and, more insultingly, rehash the examples he’s used in the past, just in more detail.
For the educated reader, I find this somewhat insulting; if one pays attention to his previous writing, they will be able to make all the same observations and realizations, and if they desire further analysis of his previous examples they have the tools they need. I know this is a book of evidence, and not a book of new realizations, but I’m not sure I can in good conscience say it’s worth the money. Buy the previous four books, the minard poster, and his cognitive style of powerpoint essay from his store, and skip this one. 4/10.