By Sylvia Nasar
During this dramatic and relocating biography, Sylvia Nasar re-creates the lifetime of a mathematical genius whose incredible occupation used to be reduce brief by way of schizophrenia and who, after 3 many years of devastating psychological disease, miraculously recovered and used to be venerated with a Nobel Prize. a stunning brain lines the meteoric upward thrust of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely formative years in West Virginia to his scholar years at Princeton, the place he encountered Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and a number of alternative mathematical luminaries. At twenty-one, the good-looking, formidable, eccentric graduate pupil invented what may develop into the main influential thought of rational human habit in smooth social technological know-how. Nash's contribution to online game conception might eventually revolutionize the sphere of economics. As a tender professor at MIT, nonetheless in his twenties, Nash dazzled the mathematical global through fixing a chain of deep difficulties deemed "impossible" by means of different mathematicians. As unconventional in his deepest existence as in his arithmetic, Nash fathered a baby with a girl he didn't marry. on the peak of the McCarthy period, he was once expelled as a safety threat from the supersecret RAND company -- the chilly battle imagine tank the place he was once a specialist. At thirty, Nash used to be poised to take his dreamed-of position within the pantheon of history's maximum mathematicians. His affiliates incorporated the main well known mathematicians and economists of the period: Norbert Wiener, John Milnor, Alexandre Grothendieck, Kenneth Arrow, Robert Solow, and Paul Samuelson. He married an unique and gorgeous MIT physics pupil, Alicia Larde. they'd a son. Then Nash suffered a catastrophic psychological breakdown. Nasar info Nash's harrowing descent into madness -- his extraordinary delusions that he was once the Prince of Peace; his resignation from MIT, flight to Europe, and try to resign his American citizenship; his repeated hospitalizations, from the storied McLean, the place he got here to understand the poet Robert Lowell, to the crowded wards of a country health center; his "enforced interludes of rationality" within which he was once capable of go back in short to mathematical learn. Nash and his spouse have been divorced in 1963, yet Alicia Nash persevered to take care of him and for his or her mathematically talented son, who was once clinically determined with schizophrenia as undefined. kept from homelessness by means of his dependable ex-wife and guarded by way of a handful of mathematical associates, Nash lived quietly in Princeton for a few years, a dreamy, ghostlike determine who scrawled numerological messages on blackboards, all yet forgotten by way of the surface international. His early achievements, although, fired the mind's eye of a brand new new release of students. At age sixty-six, dual miracles -- a spontaneous remission of his sickness and the unexpected choice of the Nobel Prize committee to honor his contributions to online game idea -- restored the realm to him. Nasar recounts the sour behind-the-scenes conflict in Stockholm over no matter if to supply the final word honor in technology to a guy regarded as "mad." She describes Nash's present ambition to pursue new mathematical breakthroughs and his efforts to be a loving father to his grownup sons. in response to hundreds of thousands of interviews with Nash's relations, pals, and associates and ratings of letters and files, a stunning brain is a heartbreaking yet inspiring tale concerning the such a lot extraordinary mathematician of our time and his overcome a sad disease.
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Extra info for A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr.
Please write back. S. I LOVE your name. — Sylvia Nasar 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.
11 His contemporaries, on the whole, found him immensely strange. ”12 Nash mingled rather than mixed with his peers. Preoccupied with his own private reality, he seemed not to share their mundane concerns. ” His remoteness was punctuated by flights of garrulousness about outer space and geopolitical trends, childish pranks, and unpredictable eruptions of anger. But these outbursts were, more often than not, as enigmatic as his silences. “He is not one of us” was a constant refrain. A mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study remembers meeting Nash for the first time at a crowded student party at Princeton: I noticed him very definitely among a lot of other people who were there.
The effect was brilliant rather than subdued. The vibrant browns and golds, which would have made a woman with a lighter, more typically southern complexion look wan, embellished her rich coloring and lent her a striking and sophisticated air. The ceremony, conducted by ministers from Christ Episcopal Church and Bland Street Methodist Church, was simple and brief, witnessed by fewer than a dozen family members and old friends. By eleven o’clock, the newlyweds were standing at the ornate, wrought-iron gate in front of the rambling, white 1890s house waving their goodbyes.
A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Sylvia Nasar