This book charts man's attempts to conquer and control risk since ancient times to the present day. You will enjoy it, even if you have no real interest in maths because its such an entertaining and easy read which covers mathematics and probability so even I can understand it.
This book is not about currency trading its a general work on risk management but its great book for Forex traders especially, the huge amount of traders who believe in the endless number of Holy Grail systems sold online which offer consistent big profits with little or no draw down. After reading this book, you will understand why there is no such system and come to the conclusion that - while man try's to contain risk he will never ever truly master it.
The book follows the history of mathematics, probability, distribution, risk management, game theory and takes us from ancient times, through to the modern day. He also gives a through introduction to gambling and human behaviour. He looks at the development of the numerical system used today by Hindu-Arabic thinkers and Fibonacci and the story continues to the present day as he reviews colourful and brilliant thinks over thousands of years. There are numerous famous people covered in the book who have made a contribution to risk management and below are just a few covered in the book:
Pacciloi, Fibonacci Cardano, Hyugen, Leibniz, Graunt, Rubentein, Thaler Pascal, Petty Halley, Moivre, Bayes, Gauss, La place, Galton, Quetlet and Cornot while Bernoulli, Bentham, Jevons, Keynes, Fisher, Black, Scholes and Markovitz and they span thousands of years of man's attempts to conquer risk. The book is divided into 5 sections and covers the periods pre 1200 and then the periods 1200–1700, 1700–1900, 1900–1960 and finally, 1960 to date the book was written.
Life is a risk and it will never be overcome but this books actually is not just a great read it shows that while risk can never be fully overcome, there are probabilities and with them on your side as a trader you can win at trading.
Bernstein’s book has received numerous positive comments and recommendations and a few of them are below and then we will conclude on why you should get this book – if the following reviews don't convince you first:
"Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read." — (The Economist)
"A comprehensive history of man′s efforts to understand risk and probability, from ancient gamblers in Greece to modern chaos theory." ( The Washington Post Book World)
"...provides an excellent history about risk and it′s vital role in markets." ( Wall Street Journal)
“…an excellent book on what can be a dry subject…” ( Financial World)
Against the Gods is the most complete book in terms of relating mathematics and the science of probability in an attempt to conquer risk. Its an easy read, despite the subject matter and while you will learn some great info on how to manage risk what you will come away thinking is – there is no way to conquer risk ( but you knew that anyway) however, you can control it to a degree and this is what gives you the opportunity to make money trading Forex.
I know this book has no theory on how to trade currencies but as a historical and fun read which makes a potentially boring subject a real page turner, there is no better intro to probability and risk than Against the Gods – Get it, read it and enjoy it.
Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk,
First Published 09/1996
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Author Peter Bernstein
Awards: won the Edwin G Booz award for the most insightful, innovative management book published in 1996. In 1998, it was awarded the Clarence Arthur Kelp/ Elizur Wright Memorial Award for its outstanding and original contribution of books on insurance and the management of risk.