A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994

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A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994

by Sylvia Nasar

Simon & Schuster | June 15, 1999 | Trade Paperback

3.8 out of 5 rating. 5 Reviews
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In this powerful and dramatic biography Sylvia Nasar vividly re-creates the life of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize. A Beautiful Mind traces the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, who dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed "impossible" by other mathematicians.

But at the height of his fame, Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown and began a harrowing descent into insanity, resigning his post at MIT, slipping into a series of bizarre delusions, and eventually becoming a dreamy, ghostlike figure at Princeton, scrawling numerological messages on blackboards. He was all but forgotten by the outside world -- until, remarkably, he emerged from his madness to win world acclaim. A feat of biographical writing, A Beautiful Mind is also a fascinating look at the extraordinary and fragile nature of genius.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.08 in

Published: June 15, 1999

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684853701

ISBN - 13: 9780684853703

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– More About This Product –

A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994

by Sylvia Nasar

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.08 in

Published: June 15, 1999

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684853701

ISBN - 13: 9780684853703

Read from the Book

Prologue Where the statue stood Of Newton with his prism and silent face, The marble index of a mind for ever Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone. -- WILLIAM WORDSWORTH John Forbes Nash, Jr. -- mathematical genius, inventor of a theory of rational behavior, visionary of the thinking machine -- had been sitting with his visitor, also a mathematician, for nearly half an hour. It was late on a weekday afternoon in the spring of 1959, and, though it was only May, uncomfortably warm. Nash was slumped in an armchair in one corner of the hospital lounge, carelessly dressed in a nylon shirt that hung limply over his unbelted trousers. His powerful frame was slack as a rag doll''s, his finely molded features expressionless. He had been staring dully at a spot immediately in front of the left foot of Harvard professor George Mackey, hardly moving except to brush his long dark hair away from his forehead in a fitful, repetitive motion. His visitor sat upright, oppressed by the silence, acutely conscious that the doors to the room were locked. Mackey finally could contain himself no longer. His voice was slightly querulous, but he strained to be gentle. "How could you," began Mackey, "how could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical proof...how could you believe that extraterrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world? How could you...?" Nash looked up at last and fixed
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Table of Contents

Contents Prologue Part One: A Beautiful Mind 1 Bluefield (1928-45) 2 Carnegie Institute of Technology (June 1945-June 1948) 3 The Center of the Universe (Princeton, Fall 1948) 4 School of Genius (Princeton, Fall 1948) 5 Genius (Princeton, 1948-49) 6 Games (Princeton, Spring 1949.) 7 John von Neumann (Princeton, 1948-49) 8 The Theory of Games 9 The Bargaining Problem (Princeton, Spring 1949) 10 Nash''s Rival Idea (Princeton, 1949-50) 11 Lloyd (Princeton, 1950) 12 The War of Wits (RAND, Summer 1950) 13 Game Theory at RAND 14 The Draft (Princeton, 195O-51) 15 A Beautiful Theorem (Princeton, 1950-51) 16 MIT 17 Bad Boys 18 Experiments (RAND, Summer 1952) 19 Reds (Spring 1953) 20 Geometry Part Two: Separate Lives 21 Singularity 22 A Special Friendship (Santa Monica, Summer 1952) 23 Eleanor 24 Jack 25 The Arrest (RAND, Summer 1954) 26 Alicia 27 The Courtship 28 Seattle (Summer 1956) 29 Death and Marriage (1956-57) Part Three: A Slow Fire Burning 30 Olden Lane and Washington Square (1956-57) 31 The Bomb Factory 32 Secrets (Summer 1958) 33 Schemes (Fall 1958) 34 The Emperor of Antarctica 35 In the Eye of the Storm (Spring 1959) 36 Day-Breaks in Bowditch Hall (McLean Hospital, April-May, 1959) 37 Mad Hatter''s Tea (May-June 1959) Part Four: The Lost Years 38 Citoyen du Monde (Paris and Geneva, 1959-60) 39 Absolute Zero (Princeton, 1960) 40 Tower of Silence (Trenton State Hospital, 1961) 41 An Interlude of Enforced Rationality (July 1961-April 1963) 42 The "Blowing Up" Problem (Princeto
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From the Publisher

In this powerful and dramatic biography Sylvia Nasar vividly re-creates the life of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize. A Beautiful Mind traces the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, who dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed "impossible" by other mathematicians.

But at the height of his fame, Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown and began a harrowing descent into insanity, resigning his post at MIT, slipping into a series of bizarre delusions, and eventually becoming a dreamy, ghostlike figure at Princeton, scrawling numerological messages on blackboards. He was all but forgotten by the outside world -- until, remarkably, he emerged from his madness to win world acclaim. A feat of biographical writing, A Beautiful Mind is also a fascinating look at the extraordinary and fragile nature of genius.

About the Author

Sylvia Nasar is an economics correspondent for The New York Times and lives in Tarrytown, New York.

From Our Editors

John Forbes Nash, Jr., was one of the bright lights of the mathematics communities of Princeton and MIT - along with his colleagues Albert Einstein, John von Neumann and Paul Samuelson. That is until the demons that drove him to genius took over his mind and he fell victim to 30 years of schizophrenia. Sylvia Nasar explores not only the incredible academic world of the middle of the century, but also the terrifying world of mental institutions. A Beautiful Mind is a tragic story of madness, but ultimately an inspirational tale of recovery, as Nash comes back from illness to win the Nobel Prize.

Editorial Reviews

The Boston Globe Superbly written and eminently fascinating.
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