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A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical…
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A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John… (original 1998; edition 2001)

by Sylvia Nasar

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3,196491,744 (3.84)94
Member:hpallister
Title:A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash
Authors:Sylvia Nasar
Info:Simon & Schuster (2001), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
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A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar (1998)

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Haven't seen the movie, and don't intend to. I'm not much of a movie fan.

This is a comprehensive biography of John Nash that provides a glimpse into the worlds of academia, mental illness, and the Nobel prize process. I found the book more interesting as it went along...the first part is a lot about other scientists Mr. Nash worked with, which didn't interest me that much.

Ms. Nasar has, I think, portrayed her subject with honesty and with an attempt to understand the tragedy of schizophrenia. ( )
  LynnB | May 26, 2015 |
This book went into far more detail than the movie did. I liked the way the author uses John Nash as a stepping off point for other notable academics. As Nash comes in contact with historical figures (such as Einstein or Oppenheimer) the author give historical background on those people, as well. I will say that after reading the book, I liked John Nash less as a person. So if you want to keep the more romanticized Hollywood image of Nash, don't read this book. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Since I began reading A Beautiful Mind the question I've been asked most is: "How does it compare to the movie?" The simple answer: I don't know. I have not seen the film and after reading the book I have no desire to either. Even after having read the entire book from cover to cover and looking at the scant number of photographs included I come away feeling like I've learned very little about John Nash beyond what I already knew.

The first third of the book serves more as a who's who in Nash's life than as a biography of Nash. Even Princeton University has a chapter. Princeton is a fairly well known institution, it doesn't need to be introduced as a character! The second third covers all of Nash's sexual exploits or potential exploits with men and women. Yawn. The final third deals with his mental breakdown and the people who tried to help him pull out of it. The final third was the most interesting piece of the book but it comes too late to save the book from being an over all dull and pointless read. ( )
  pussreboots | Feb 1, 2015 |
Wonderfully read by Edward Herrmann, this biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994, was interesting and informative. I never saw the movie, but I am much more inclined to do so now. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
A well written biography about an arrogant mathematician who did genius level work early in his career but succumbed to schizophrenia in his thirties. A good book to read for those interested in abnormal psychology or math. Probably more of us are interested in the former rather than the latter. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Sylvia Nasar, an economics correspondent for the New York Times, presents the life "without theory" of John Forbes Nash Jr., a mathematical genius and inventor of theories of rational behavior, who was a Wunderkind at Princeton when it was populated by the likes of Albert Einstein, John von Neumann and other 20th century luminaries.
added by mikeg2 | editSalon, Richard Dooling (Jun 29, 1998)
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nasar, Sylviaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hansen-Schmidt, AnjaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plieninger, CäcilieTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edward HerrmannNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fields, AnnaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Another race hath been, and other palms are won. /  Thanks to the human heart by which we live, / Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, / To me the meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. -- William Wordsworth, "Intimations of Immortality"
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For Alicia Esther Larde Nash
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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.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743224574, Paperback)

Stories of famously eccentric Princetonians abound--such as that of chemist Hubert Alyea, the model for The Absent-Minded Professor, or Ralph Nader, said to have had his own key to the library as an undergraduate. Or the "Phantom of Fine Hall," a figure many students had seen shuffling around the corridors of the math and physics building wearing purple sneakers and writing numerology treatises on the blackboards. The Phantom was John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of his generation, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in the 1950s. His most important work had been in game theory, which by the 1980s was underpinning a large part of economics. When the Nobel Prize committee began debating a prize for game theory, Nash's name inevitably came up--only to be dismissed, since the prize clearly could not go to a madman. But in 1994 Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for work done some 45 years previously.

Economist and journalist Sylvia Nasar has written a biography of Nash that looks at all sides of his life. She gives an intelligent, understandable exposition of his mathematical ideas and a picture of schizophrenia that is evocative but decidedly unromantic. Her story of the machinations behind Nash's Nobel is fascinating and one of very few such accounts available in print (the CIA could learn a thing or two from the Nobel committees). This highly recommended book is indeed "a story about the mystery of the human mind, in three acts: genius, madness, reawakening." --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:21 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The true story of John Nash, the math genius who was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness; through the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community he emerged after decades of ghostlike existence to win a Nobel Prize; now a major motion picture--Cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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