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A Beautiful Mind
Cover of A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind
The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash
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John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed "impossible" by other mathematicians. But at the height of...
John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed "impossible" by other mathematicians. But at the height of...
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  • John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, 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 the Nobel Prize.

    A Beautiful Mind is "a story about the mystery of the human mind, in three acts: genius, madness, reawakening." A true drama, it is also a fascinating glimpse into the fragility of genius.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sylvia Nasar, a former economics correspondent for the New York Times, is the Knight Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. She lives in Tarrytown, New York.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Sylvia Nasar's excellent biography of the tragic but ultimately triumphant life of mathematician John Forbes Nash,, Jr., gets cheated by poor audio production. Anna Fields's volume is so low that some of her trailing sentences are inaudible except in a silent room. Blackstone compounds the problem with a very high-noise recording. The end result is a production that can't be listened to comfortably in a car or walking in public because Fields's voice ranges from near-whisper to just above normal volume. The listener who compensates for the whisper is overwhelmed by her louder sections. In future Fields projects, Blackstone needs to use compression. Read the excellent book instead. T.F. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 1, 1998
    Nasar has written a notable biography of mathematical genius John Forbes Nash (b. 1928), a founder of game theory, a RAND Cold War strategist and winner of a 1994 Nobel Prize in economics. She charts his plunge into paranoid schizophrenia beginning at age 30 and his spontaneous recovery in the early 1990s after decades of torment. He attributes his remission to will power; he stopped taking antipsychotic drugs in 1970 but underwent a half-dozen involuntary hospitalizations. Born in West Virginia, the flamboyant mathematical wizard rubbed elbows at Princeton and MIT with Einstein, John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener. He compartmentalized his secret personal life, shows Nasar, hiding his homosexual affairs with colleagues from his mistress, a nurse who bore him a son out of wedlock, while he also courted Alicia Larde, an MIT physics student whom he married in 1957. Their son, John, born in 1959, became a mathematician and suffers from episodic schizophrenia. Alicia divorced Nash in 1963, but they began living together again as a couple around 1970. Today Nash, whose mathematical contributions span cosmology, geometry, computer architecture and international trade, devotes himself to caring for his son. Nasar, an economics correspondent for the New York Times, is equally adept at probing the puzzle of schizophrenia and giving a nontechnical context for Nash's mathematical and scientific ideas.

  • AudioFile Magazine Edward Herrmann continues to add to a great body of work, including television, theater and feature films, with his narration of mathematician John Nash's life. With his commanding voice, Herrmann traces Nash's life from his "normal" childhood to his mathematical genius to his mental decline from schizophrenia in this abridgment of Nasar's riveting biography. Herrmann's unbiased reading of Nash's strong personality and egotistical nature keeps the listener from disliking Nash for his indifference to those around him, yet Herrmann brings the listener full circle with his thoughtful and philosophical reading of Nash as an older and wiser man. Herrmann manages to keep a great perspective on Nash's actions and his mental illness, providing a good, solid reading of the life of a genius. H.L.S. 2003 Audie Award Winner (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
  • New York Times Book Review 'A Beautiful Mind tells a moving story and offers a remarkable look into the arcane world of mathematics and the tragedy of madness.'

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A Beautiful Mind
The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash
Sylvia Nasar
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