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Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

Paperback

By (author) Peter L. Bernstein

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 226mm x 32mm | 500g
  • Publication date: 1 December 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0471295639
  • ISBN 13: 9780471295631
  • Illustrations note: facsimiles
  • Sales rank: 13,151

Product description

A Business Week, New York Times Business, and USA Today Bestseller "Ambitious and readable ...an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The New York Times "An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book." -The Wall Street Journal "A lively panoramic book ...Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it." -Business Week "Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read." -The Economist "[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world." -Worth "No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement." -Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers "With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today. "An extremely readable history of risk." -Barron's "Fascinating ...this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face." -Money "A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement "There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company." -The Australian

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Author information

PETER L. BERNSTEIN is President of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., economic consultants to institutional advisors and corporations. His semimonthly analysis of the capital markets and the real economy, Economics and Portfolio Strategy, is read by managers and owners of investments totaling over one trillion dollars. Mr. Bernstein is the author of many articles in the professional and popular press, as well as six books in economics and finance, including the bestselling Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street. He is the coeditor of Investment Management (Wiley), and was the first editor of The Journal of Portfolio Management.

Review quote

"...provides an excellent history about risk and it's vital role in markets." (Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2006) "...an excellent book on what can be a dry subject..." (Financial World, 1st December 2005) "I must say that I enjoyed the book, it was written in a light-hearted manner".(Money Matters, April 2001) No. 7 bestseller in 'Risk' (erivativesreview.com, December 2001)

Editorial reviews

This is an unexpected gem. Did you know that Edmund Halley, of comet fame, was the first person to draw up workable actuarial tables of mortality? Or that Charles Darwin's cousin invented the science of fingerprinting? Chapters with headings such as 'The man who counted everything except calories' suck you in to a divertingly gossipy account of the lives of great statisticians (for want of a better word) from the ancient Greeks to the modern stock market. A highly original and entertaining mixture of biography, history and science that should not be missed. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

A Business Week, New York Times Business, and USA Today Bestseller"Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." --"The New York Times""An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book." --"The Wall Street Journal""A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it." --"Business Week""Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read." --"The Economist""[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world." --"Worth""No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement." --Robert Heilbroner author, "The Worldly Philosophers""With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it." --John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard UniversityIn this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today."An extremely readable history of risk." --"Barron's""Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face." --Money"A singular achievement." --Times Literary Supplement"There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly--witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)--and Bernstein would mingle well in their company." --The Australian

Table of contents

TO 1200: BEGINNINGS. The Winds of the Greeks and the Role of the Dice. As Easy As I, II, III. 1200-1700: A THOUSAND OUTSTANDING FACTS. The Renaissance Gambler. The French Connection. The Remarkable Notions of the Remarkable Notions Man. 1700-1900: MEASUREMENT UNLIMITED. Considering the Nature of Man. The Search for Moral Certainty. The Supreme Law of Unreason. The Man with the Sprained Brain. Peapods and Perils. The Fabric of Felicity. 1900-1960: CLOUDS OF VAGUENESS AND THE DEMAND FOR PRECISION. The Measure of Our Ignorance. The Radically Distinct Notion. The Man Who Counted Everything Except Calories. The Strange Case of the Anonymous Stockbroker. DEGREES OF BELIEF: EXPLORING UNCERTAINTY. The Failure of Invariance. The Theory Police. The Fantastic System of Side Bets. Awaiting The Wildness. Notes. Bibliography. Indexes.