By Sylvia Nasar
During this dramatic and relocating biography, Sylvia Nasar re-creates the lifetime of a mathematical genius whose terrific profession used to be minimize brief by means of schizophrenia and who, after 3 many years of devastating psychological sickness, miraculously recovered and was once venerated with a Nobel Prize. a gorgeous brain strains the meteoric upward thrust of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely formative years in West Virginia to his pupil years at Princeton, the place he encountered Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and a bunch of alternative mathematical luminaries. At twenty-one, the good-looking, bold, eccentric graduate scholar invented what could develop into the main influential concept of rational human habit in smooth social technology. Nash's contribution to online game thought may finally revolutionize the sector of economics. As a tender professor at MIT, nonetheless in his twenties, Nash dazzled the mathematical global by way of fixing a sequence of deep difficulties deemed "impossible" by means of different mathematicians. As unconventional in his deepest lifestyles as in his arithmetic, Nash fathered a baby with a girl he didn't marry. on the top of the McCarthy period, he was once expelled as a safety danger from the supersecret RAND company -- the chilly warfare imagine tank the place he used to be a specialist. At thirty, Nash was once 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 lovely MIT physics scholar, Alicia Larde. they'd a son. Then Nash suffered a catastrophic psychological breakdown. Nasar information Nash's harrowing descent into madness -- his strange 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 grasp the poet Robert Lowell, to the crowded wards of a country clinic; his "enforced interludes of rationality" in which he was once in a position to go back in brief to mathematical study. Nash and his spouse have been divorced in 1963, yet Alicia Nash endured to deal with him and for his or her mathematically talented son, who used to be clinically determined with schizophrenia as undefined. kept from homelessness via his dependable ex-wife and guarded by way of a handful of mathematical buddies, Nash lived quietly in Princeton for a few years, a dreamy, ghostlike determine who scrawled numerological messages on blackboards, all yet forgotten by means of the skin global. His early achievements, although, fired the mind's eye of a brand new iteration of students. At age sixty-six, dual miracles -- a spontaneous remission of his disorder and the surprising selection 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 even if to furnish the final word honor in technology to a guy considered "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 keeping with 1000s of interviews with Nash's kinfolk, pals, and co-workers and rankings of letters and files, a stunning brain is a heartbreaking yet inspiring tale concerning the so much striking mathematician of our time and his conquer a sad disorder.
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Additional info for A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr.
Martin eventually gave up his medical practice to manage his real-estate investments and to devote himself to civic affairs. Some accounts refer to him as a one-time postmaster, others as the town’s mayor. The Martins’ affluence did not protect the’m from terrible blows — their first child, a boy, died in infancy; Virginia, the second, was left entirely deaf in one ear at age twelve after a bout of scarlet fever; a younger brother was killed in a train wreck; and one of her sisters died in a typhoid epidemic — but on the whole Virginia grew up in a happier atmosphere than her husband.
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? ” Nash looked up at last and fixed Mackey with an unblinking stare as cool and dispassionate as that of any bird or snake.
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.
A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Sylvia Nasar