Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 11, 2012 - Business & Economics - 400 pages
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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

What people are saying - Write a review

AGAINST THE GODS: The Remarkable Story of Risk

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A history of probability from an economist and author of a history of Wall Street (Capital Ideas, 1991). Modern risk theory dates from a little geometric model invented in 1654 called Pascal's ... Read full review

Well written and informative

User Review  - ecjacket -

If you want a good review on the understanding and management of risk this book is a good choice. It is well written and entertaining. Read full review


List of Illustrations
The Winds of the Greeks and the Role
As Easy as I II III
The Renaissance Gambler
The Probability of Each Sum When Rolling a Pair
The French Connection
The Remarkable Notions of
Rembrandts Storm on the Sea of Galilee
The Supreme Law of Unreason
percentage price changes in the Standard Poors
The Man with the Sprained Brain
Peapods and Perils
The Fabric of Felicity
The Measure of Our Ignorance
The Radically Distinct Notion
The Man Who Counted Everything

Considering the Nature of
The Search for Moral Certainty
The Strange Case of the Anonymous

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About the author (2012)

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.

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