"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."
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.
One of the foremost financial writers of his generation, thelate Peter Bernstein had the unique ability to synthesizeintellectual history and economics with the theory and practice ofinvestment management. Now, with the Peter L. Bernstein ClassicsCollection e-bundle, you will be able to enjoy some of the mostimportant and critically acclaimed books by this engaginginvestment writer—Capital Ideas, Against the Gods, ThePower of Gold, and Capital Ideas Evolving.Capital Ideas and Capital Ideas Evolving tracesthe origins of modern Wall Street, from the pioneering work ofearly scholars and the development of new theories in risk,valuation, and investment returns, to the actual implementation ofthese theories in the real world of investment managementAgainst the Gods skillfully explores one of the mostprofound issues of our time—the role of risk in oursociety—in a non-technical and accessible styleThe Power of Gold tells the story of how history's mostcoveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset has inspired romanticmyths, daring explorations, and titanic struggles for money andpower
Engaging and informative, Peter L. Bernstein ClassicsCollection puts the insights of one of the greatest financialwriters of our time at your fingertips.
With the proliferation of financial instruments, new areas ofinstability, and innovative capital market strategies, manyeconomists and investors have lost sight of the fundamentals of thefinancial system—its strengths as well as its weaknesses.A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold takes you back to thebeginning and sorts out all the pieces.
Peter Bernstein skillfully addresses how and why commercialbanks lend and invest, where money comes from, how it moves fromhand to hand, and the critical role of interest rates. He exploresthe Federal Reserve System and the consequences of the Fed'sactions on the overall economy. But this book is not just about thepast. Bernstein's novel perspective on gold and the dollar iscritical for today's decision makers, as he provides extensiveviews on the future of money, banking, and gold in the worldeconomy.
This illuminating story about the heart of our economic systemis essential reading at a time when developments in finance aremore important than ever.
—John C. Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group andauthor, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
"Just as Dante could not have understood or survived the perils ofthe Inferno without Virgil to guide him, investors today need PeterBernstein 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; thankgoodness he did."
—Jason Zweig, Investing Columnist, Moneymagazine
"Another must-read from Peter Bernstein! This well-written andthought-provoking book provides valuable insights on how keyfinance theories have evolved from their ivory tower formulation toprofitable application by portfolio managers. This book willcertainly 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 HarvardManagement Company, Deputy Treasurer of Harvard University, andmember of the faculty of the Harvard Business School
"Reading Capital Ideas Evolving is an experience not to bemissed. Peter Bernstein's knowledge of the principal characters-thegiants in the development of investment theory and practice-bringsthis subject to life."
—Linda B. Strumpf, Vice President and Chief InvestmentOfficer, The Ford Foundation
"With great clarity, Peter Bernstein introduces us to the insightsof investment giants, and explains how they transformed financialtheory into portfolio practice. This is not just a tale of moneyand models; it is a fascinating and contemporary story about peopleand the power of their ideas."
—Elroy Dimson, BGI Professor of Investment Management,London Business School
"Capital Ideas Evolving provides us with a uniqueappreciation for the pervasive impact that the theory of modernfinance has had on the development of our capital markets. PeterBernstein once again has produced a masterpiece that is mustreading for practitioners, educators and students offinance."
—André F. Perold, Professor of Finance, HarvardBusiness School
—From the New Foreword by Paul Volcker
This bestselling book reveals a record of human nature in theubiquity of gold with a new foreword by Paul Volcker
In this exciting book, the late Peter L. Bernstein tells thestory of history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset:gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through themodern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath,gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a badend. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation mayreverberate in today's fast-moving, electronically-driven markets,the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking featureof this tumultuous tale. Such is the power of gold.
Whether it is Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, theluxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor ofpaper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hardnosedbelievers in the international gold standard, gold has been thesupreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem ofrectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of powerthat 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 weprogress to the invention of coinage, the transformation of goldinto money, and the gold standardOther bestselling books by the late Peter Bernstein: Againstthe Gods, Capital Ideas, and Capital IdeasEvolvingContemplates gold from the diverse perspectives of monarchs andmoneyers, potentates and politicians, men of legendary wealth andothers of more plebeian beginnings
Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, andthe history of money and power struggles, The Power of Goldsuggests that the true significance of this infamous element maylie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what thisreveals about ourselves.
Peter Bernstein's Economist on Wall Street is acollection of writings from 1955 to 1970. The book is especiallyinteresting because so many of Bernstein's observations reflect themost important issues of the present—the outlook forinflation and its control, the intricacies of monetary policy, thefuture of the dollar, and the dilemmas of household finances.Bernstein was also concerned with developments in portfoliomanagement, including the new influence of institutional investorsand rules for optimal asset mixes. He provides light touches, too,as he indulges in fantasies and philosophical musings over a widevariety of topics.
With so many years of hindsight, we should not be surprised tofind some of Bernstein's predictions running awry. But why? In eachinstance, 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 lastingrelevance and keen insights into the art of investment management,the capital markets, gold and the dollar, and the fun of beingalive.
First published in 1962, The Price of Prosperity speaks totoday's uncertainties as clearly as to those of the past. Withchapters like "The Burden of Government" and "The Economics ofDemocracy," Bernstein probes the future of an economy duringrapidly changing times and the appropriate role of government indetermining the ultimate outcome.
The questions have not changed over time, but Bernstein's answershelp us understand these issues from today's perspective. How muchgovernment control is too much control? How much can governmentspend? How can government influence the level ofunemployment?
As Bernstein shows how to navigate an ever-changing economiclandscape, his timeless insights throughout these pages make ThePrice of Prosperity as vital and important today as when itappeared in an environment fundamentally different from our own.
Power and passion begin with the magical, religious, and artistic qualities of gold. As the story progresses from primitive uses to the invention of coinage and the transformation of gold into money and the gold standard, gold speaks more loudly of power as it acquires increasing importance as money. Ultimately, the book confronts the future of gold, in a world where gold has been relegated to the periphery of global finance.
Along the way, we meet Moses and Midas, Croesus and Crassus, Byzantine emperors and humble miners, unscrupulous moneyers and ransomed kings, Francisco Pizzaro and Benvenuto Cellini, Charlemange and Charles de Gaulle, Richard I and Richard Nixon, Asian monarchs and Arab potentates, Isaac Newton and Winston Churchill, David Ricardo and John Maynard Keynes, and the Forty-Niners and the speculators who pushed gold to $850 an ounce in 1980. 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.
In the end, this story is a morality tale. The pursuit of eternity will not be satisfied by gold, or by anything else we choose to rpelace gold. Gold as an end in itself is meaningless. Hoarding does not create wealth. Gold makes sense only as a means to an end; to beautify, to adorn, to exchange for what we want and need.