Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

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Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

Format:  Paperback,

288 pages

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc

Publish Date: Sep 1998

ISBN-13: 9780471295631

ISBN-10: 0471295639

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
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


Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
Publish Date: Sep 1998
ISBN-13: 9780471295631
ISBN-10: 0471295639
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.2
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.0

Chapter outline

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?


Review by Library Journal (1996-11-01)

For several centuries, mathematics has been the language of the exact sciences. Only in the 20th century has mathematics become predominant in other fields, particularly economics and finance. In this book, Bernstein (Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street, LJ 12/91), head of an economic consulting firm, traces the development of probability theory from its beginnings in analyzing games of chance, through its application to statistical theory and insurance, up to its present use in developing investment strategies to control risk.

He includes excellent sections on portfolio analysis and on investments in derivatives. Bernstein clearly describes the people, their work, and the events that have revolutionized the thinking on Wall Street. A worthwhile acquisition for business and math collections. Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Financial Times/Booz-Allen and Hamilton Global Business Book Award, 1997 (United Kingdom)

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