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With the stock market breaking records almost daily, leaving longtime market analysts shaking their heads and revising their forecasts, a study of the concept of risk seems quite timely. Peter Bernstein has written a comprehensive history of man's efforts to understand risk and probability, beginning with early gamblers in ancient Greece, continuing through the 17th-century French mathematicians Pascal and Fermat and up to modern chaos theory. Along the way he demonstrates that understanding risk underlies everything from game theory to bridge-building to winemaking.
Risk management, which assumes that future risks can be understood, measured and to some extent predicted, is the focus of this solid, thoroughgoing history. Probability theory, pioneered by 17th-century French mathematicians Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat, has made possible the design of great bridges, electric power utilities and insurance policies. The statistical sampling methods invented by dour Swiss scientist Jacob Bernoulli undergird diverse activities such as the testing of new drugs, stock-picking and wine tasting. Bernstein (Capital Ideas) animates his narrative with a colorful cast of risk-analyzers, including gambling addict Girolamo Cardano, 16th-century Italian physician to the Pope; and John Maynard Keynes, whose concerns over economic uncertainty compelled him to recommend an active, interventionist role for government. Bernstein also traces the development of business forecasting, game theory, insurance and derivatives, and surveys recent advances in risk forecasting made possible through chaos theory and by the development of neural networks.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Recently there have been extensive improvements in the analyses of data and prediction methods which the author may not know.Published on Dec 9 2012 by Merv Palmer
Against The Gods is a popular account of the history of financial risk management. The author takes us through a journey of discovery spanning almost a thousand years, from the... Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2008 by Jacob Gajek
I am going to give you a short review and to the point.
I read this book because it was recommended on "Money Talk" the national radio show on every weekend for 6 hours on... Read more
Any reader who picks up "Against the Gods" for mathematical amusement will be surprised to find out that "the revolutionary idea that defines the boundary between modern times and... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by N. Tsafos
I bought this book because it was suggested after I ordered other books relating to the stock market and investing. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003
Bernstein is a true historian that writes in a very easy to read and engaging style. I had a hard time putting this book down. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2003 by Ronald Williams
As I went through the book, one thing I realized was that we seem to attribute pathbreaking ideas to people without realizing the history behind it all. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003 by Ganesh V Jois
The title of my review is aimed at warning those expecting to find a risk management manual in this book that they will be disappointed. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2003 by Govindan Nair