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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
A blend of biography and history shows how famous scientists and creative amateurs developed the concepts of risk, risk management, and probability, paving the way for progress in business and technology
"The need for realism in reform of its monetary system is what makes Bernstein’s story of the Power of Gold so timely. It is a compelling reminder that maintaining a fixed price for gold and fixed exchange rates were difficult even in a simpler financial environment….Peter Bernstein was reluctant to project the story of gold into the future. But to me his message was clear. Yes, gold will be with us, valued not only for its intrinsic qualities but as a last refuge and store of value in turbulent times. But its days as money, as a means of payment and a fixed unit of account are gone." —From the New Foreword by Paul Volcker This bestselling book reveals a record of human nature in the ubiquity of gold with a new foreword by Paul Volcker In this exciting book, the late Peter L. Bernstein tells the story of history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset: gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through the modern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath, gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a bad end. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation may reverberate in today's fast-moving, electronically-driven markets, the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking feature of this tumultuous tale. Such is the power of gold. Whether it is Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, the luxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor of paper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hardnosed believers in the international gold standard, gold has been the supreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem of rectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of power that has shaped the destiny of humanity through the ages. Discusses the beginnings of gold as something with magical, religious, and artistic qualities and follows its trail as we progress to the invention of coinage, the transformation of gold into money, and the gold standard Other bestselling books by the late Peter Bernstein: Against the Gods, Capital Ideas, and Capital Ideas Evolving Contemplates gold from the diverse perspectives of monarchs and moneyers, potentates and politicians, men of legendary wealth and others of more plebeian beginnings Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, and the history of money and power struggles, The Power of Gold suggests that the true significance of this infamous element may lie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what this reveals about ourselves.
1929. This book is intended to elucidate history somewhat, more to illustrate it, to honor without hypocrisy the deeds of men and women whose destiny was larger, if not deeper than our own. Above all to shake loose the perception of the adventurer in us and of us in the adventurer. Included are sketches on the following: Alexander the Great; Casanova; Christopher Columbus; Mahomet; Lola Montez; Cagliostro, and Seraphina; Charles XII of Sweden; Napoleon I; Lucius Sergius Catiline; Napoleon III; Isadora Duncan; and Woodrow Wilson.
"One corner of the great American panorama enlarged to highlight starry-eyed visionaries, political machinations, indefatigable ingenuity, and cockeyed optimism."—Kirkus Reviews The building of the Erie Canal, like the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal, is one of the greatest and most riveting stories of American ingenuity. Best-selling author Peter Bernstein presents the story of the canal's construction against the larger tableau of America in the first quarter-century of the 1800s. Examining the social, political, and economic ramifications of this mammoth project, Bernstein demonstrates how the canal's creation helped prevent the dismemberment of the American empire and knit the sinews of the American industrial revolution. Featuring a rich cast of characters, including not only political visionaries like Washington, Jefferson, van Buren, and the architect's most powerful champion, Governor DeWitt Clinton, but also a huge platoon of Irish diggers as well as the canal's first travelers, Wedding of the Waters reveals that the twenty-first-century themes of urbanization, economic growth, and globalization can all be traced to the first great macroengineering venture of American history.
Capital Ideas traces the origins of modern Wall Street, from the pioneering work of early scholars and the development of new theories in risk, valuation, and investment returns, to the actual implementation of these theories in the real world of investment management. Bernstein brings to life a variety of brilliant academics who have contributed to modern investment theory over the years: Louis Bachelier, Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, Robert Merton, Franco Modigliani, and Merton Miller. Filled with in-depth insights and timeless advice, Capital Ideas reveals how the unique contributions of these talented individuals profoundly changed the practice of investment management as we know it today.
"A lot has happened in the financial markets since 1992, when Peter Bernstein wrote his seminal Capital Ideas. Happily, Peter has taken up his facile pen again to describe these changes, a virtual revolution in the practice of investing that relies heavily on complex mathematics, derivatives, hedging, and hyperactive trading. This fine and eminently readable book is unlikely to be surpassed as the definitive chronicle of a truly historic era." —John C. Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group and author, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing "Just as Dante could not have understood or survived the perils of the Inferno without Virgil to guide him, investors today need Peter Bernstein to help find their way across dark and shifting ground. No one alive understands Wall Street's intellectual history better, and that makes Bernstein our best and wisest guide to the future. He is the only person who could have written this book; thank goodness he did." —Jason Zweig, Investing Columnist, Money magazine "Another must-read from Peter Bernstein! This well-written and thought-provoking book provides valuable insights on how key finance theories have evolved from their ivory tower formulation to profitable application by portfolio managers. This book will certainly be read with keen interest by, and undoubtedly influence, a wide range of participants in international finance." —Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, President and CEO of Harvard Management Company, Deputy Treasurer of Harvard University, and member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School "Reading Capital Ideas Evolving is an experience not to be missed. Peter Bernstein's knowledge of the principal characters-the giants in the development of investment theory and practice-brings this subject to life." —Linda B. Strumpf, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, The Ford Foundation "With great clarity, Peter Bernstein introduces us to the insights of investment giants, and explains how they transformed financial theory into portfolio practice. This is not just a tale of money and models; it is a fascinating and contemporary story about people and the power of their ideas." —Elroy Dimson, BGI Professor of Investment Management, London Business School "Capital Ideas Evolving provides us with a unique appreciation for the pervasive impact that the theory of modern finance has had on the development of our capital markets. Peter Bernstein once again has produced a masterpiece that is must reading for practitioners, educators and students of finance." —André F. Perold, Professor of Finance, Harvard Business School

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