Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk
By Peter L. Bernstein
Published in August 1998
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
Against the Gods is a brief intellectual history of how different mathematicians and economists have interpreted risk throughout the ages.
Bernstein starts with the ancient Greeks, who had no concept of risk, jumps to the intellectuals of the renaissance, enlightenment, Victorian era, ending with modern thinkers like John Meynard Keynes.
The probabilistic understanding of risk is relatively recent. In the past, scholars did not believe that the world was logical, and thus predictable. The thinkers of today now trend towards the opposite bias.
I wish that Against the Gods had talked a little bit more about risk in financial markets, which is why I read the book. I simply didn’t get much of what I was hoping to find out of it.
Most of my articles are book reviews, but I also write about many other topics.