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About the Author

Sylvia Nasar was born in Rosenheim, Germany on August 17, 1947. She received a bachelor's degree in literature from Antioch College in 1970 and master's degree in economics from New York University in 1976. She is an economist and author. Her books include A Beautiful Mind, which inspired the show more academy award winning movie, and Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. She was an economics correspondent for the New York Times and is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in several publications including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Newsweek. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

(yid) VIAF:39524434

Image credit: Image taken from Columbia.edu/news. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/00/10/sylviaNasar.html

Works by Sylvia Nasar

Associated Works

A Beautiful Mind [2001 film] (2002) — Original book — 602 copies
The Best American Science Writing 2007 (2007) — Contributor — 237 copies
A Century in Books: Princeton University Press 1905-2005 (2005) — Contributor — 36 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Nasar, Sylvia
Other names
NASAR, Sylvia
Germany (birth)
Country (for map)
Rosenheim, Germany
Places of residence
Ankara, Turkey
Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA
New York, New York, USA
Tarrytown, New York, USA
Antioch College (1970 | BA | literature)
New York University (1976 | MA | economics)
McLeod, Darryl (husband)
The New York Times
Columbia University
U.S. News & World Report
Awards and honors
National Book Critics Circle Award (1998)
Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2011)
Pulitzer Prize (1998)
Short biography
Sylvia Nasar is a German born economist, author and journalist. Educated in Turkey and the USA she is now the Knight Chair at the Graduate School of Journalism in Columbia University.



unauthorized biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Nash by Sylvia Nasar, professor of journalism at Columbia University.. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in biography.
LindaLeeJacobs | 63 other reviews | Oct 24, 2023 |
Biography of brilliant mathematician John Nash, his descent into schizophrenia, and his remarkable (and rare) recovery. It includes his friendships and rivalries with other mathematicians. One of the highlights is his relationship with his wife, who had to deal with both his and their son’s mental illness. Nasar includes what she has discovered over the course of writing the book in terms of the heredity of schizophrenia and available treatments, which have changed over the years. I found it fascinating.… (more)
Castlelass | 63 other reviews | Jan 24, 2023 |
I own many more paper books than electronic ones - I have the book-collecting bug.

Anyway, I bought the paperback version of this book (currently cheaper than the Kindle version).

A warning for others, the printing in the book is tiny

My close vision is excellent for an oldie, but I doubt I will try to read my paper copy. I'm not sure why Faber chose a miniscule font - the book is around 450pp long, so maybe it was down to cost.

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0571212927

What little I have read is very interesting - hence the 4 *'s
… (more)
NickDuberley | 63 other reviews | Mar 5, 2022 |

I got a lot more out of the book than the film. It is honest where the film is not about Alicia's origins, John Nash's sexuality and the nature and course of his illness and career. It goes a bit into the mathematics without trying too hard; in the end, the non-specialist has to take the word of the specialist that this was all Really Important Stuff.

But where the book excels is in its examination of the social and political construction of the environment where Nash worked. It had not occurred to me that the Princeton of Einstein (and Nash) was very different from the Princeton of Woodrow Wilson, just a few decades before. Nasar maps out very carefully how the decision of a few intellectual centres of excellence to invest in mathematics - or rather, in mathematicians - was driven by wider political and social currents, including McCarthyism and antisemitism (Nash himself also lurched into antisemitism, and not only when deluded). Her behind-the-scenes account of how Nash almost didn't get the 1994 Nobel Prize is one of the most gripping things I've ever read in a scientific biography. (Yeah, I know it's not technically a Nobel Prize. Sue me.)

Some of Nash's friends queried whether the biography was ethical, given that it was written without his consent or cooperation. In fact his attitude was studiedly neutral, and Nasar clearly had full cooperation from his colleagues and lovers, which he could presumably have deterred if he had really wanted to. He was apparently pleased enough with it in the end, and enjoyed the film too, though he commented (rightly enough) that it wasn't really about him.
… (more)
nwhyte | 63 other reviews | Dec 11, 2021 |



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