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"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."
"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."
—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."
"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."
One of the foremost financial writers of his generation, the late Peter Bernstein had the unique ability to synthesize intellectual history and economics with the theory and practice of investment management. Now, with the Peter L. Bernstein Classics Collection e-bundle, you will be able to enjoy some of the most important and critically acclaimed books by this engaging investment writer—Capital Ideas, Against the Gods, The Power of Gold, and Capital Ideas Evolving.
- Capital Ideas and Capital Ideas Evolving 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
- Against the Gods skillfully explores one of the most profound issues of our time—the role of risk in our society—in a non-technical and accessible style
- The Power of Gold tells the story of how history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset has inspired romantic myths, daring explorations, and titanic struggles for money and power
Engaging and informative, Peter L. Bernstein Classics Collection puts the insights of one of the greatest financial writers of our time at your fingertips.
—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.
—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
"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.
First published in 1962, The Price of Prosperity speaks to today's uncertainties as clearly as to those of the past. With chapters like "The Burden of Government" and "The Economics of Democracy," Bernstein probes the future of an economy during rapidly changing times and the appropriate role of government in determining the ultimate outcome.
The questions have not changed over time, but Bernstein's answers help us understand these issues from today's perspective. How much government control is too much control? How much can government spend? How can government influence the level of unemployment?
As Bernstein shows how to navigate an ever-changing economic landscape, his timeless insights throughout these pages make The Price of Prosperity as vital and important today as when it appeared in an environment fundamentally different from our own.
Peter Bernstein's Economist on Wall Street is a collection of writings from 1955 to 1970. The book is especially interesting because so many of Bernstein's observations reflect the most important issues of the present—the outlook for inflation and its control, the intricacies of monetary policy, the future of the dollar, and the dilemmas of household finances. Bernstein was also concerned with developments in portfolio management, including the new influence of institutional investors and rules for optimal asset mixes. He provides light touches, too, as he indulges in fantasies and philosophical musings over a wide variety of topics.
With so many years of hindsight, we should not be surprised to find some of Bernstein's predictions running awry. But why? In each instance, these forecasts were biased by memories of the past. There is a big lesson to be learned there.
Economist on Wall Street is a remarkable book, with lasting relevance and keen insights into the art of investment management, the capital markets, gold and the dollar, and the fun of being alive.
With the proliferation of financial instruments, new areas of instability, and innovative capital market strategies, many economists and investors have lost sight of the fundamentals of the financial system—its strengths as well as its weaknesses. A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold takes you back to the beginning and sorts out all the pieces.
Peter Bernstein skillfully addresses how and why commercial banks lend and invest, where money comes from, how it moves from hand to hand, and the critical role of interest rates. He explores the Federal Reserve System and the consequences of the Fed's actions on the overall economy. But this book is not just about the past. Bernstein's novel perspective on gold and the dollar is critical for today's decision makers, as he provides extensive views on the future of money, banking, and gold in the world economy.
This illuminating story about the heart of our economic system is essential reading at a time when developments in finance are more important than ever.