With the fickle stock market breaking records time and again, leaving veteran market analysts revising their forecasts, a study of the notion of risk seems quite timely. Peter Bernstein has released an extensive history of man's endeavors to grasp the concept of risk and probability. From the early gamblers in ancient Greece, through the 17th-century French mathematicians Pascal and Fermat and up to modern chaos theory. Ultimately, he shows how risk underlies everything from game theory to bridge-building to wine-making.
"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
— Business Week
"Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read."
"[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world."
"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."
"An extremely readable history of risk."
"Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face."
"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