Word Clouds

January 7, 2013 |  by

The great thing about word clouds? In a glance, you see what was really on an author’s mind. It might not be the popular conception about a book—and it might be something you missed when reading it.

Take The Communist Manifesto (above), by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Thought it was all about communism? Hardly. Three cheers if you can even find the word communism. But class, bourgeois and bourgeoisie? You bet.

In a word cloud, you see the main idea behind a book, in an instant. It’s the same thing we do when looking at memes, when what’s important is seeing the main idea behind the meme.

Making a word cloud is easy. Import any text at wordle.net.

Here are a few more:

Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler

 

Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

 

 Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson

* not really about “the pursuit of Happiness” (see far left)

 

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

* hm, really a love story?

 

 Gospel of John 

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