By Sylvia Nasar
During this dramatic and relocating biography, Sylvia Nasar re-creates the lifetime of a mathematical genius whose fantastic occupation was once lower brief by way of schizophrenia and who, after 3 many years of devastating psychological affliction, miraculously recovered and used to be commemorated with a Nobel Prize. a gorgeous brain strains the meteoric upward push of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely early life in West Virginia to his pupil years at Princeton, the place he encountered Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and a bunch of different mathematical luminaries. At twenty-one, the good-looking, formidable, eccentric graduate pupil invented what might develop into the main influential conception of rational human habit in glossy social technology. Nash's contribution to online game conception may eventually revolutionize the sector of economics. As a tender professor at MIT, nonetheless in his twenties, Nash dazzled the mathematical international by way of fixing a sequence of deep difficulties deemed "impossible" by way of different mathematicians. As unconventional in his inner most lifestyles as in his arithmetic, Nash fathered a toddler with a girl he didn't marry. on the top of the McCarthy period, he used to be expelled as a safety danger from the supersecret RAND company -- the chilly struggle imagine tank the place he used to be 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 lovely MIT physics scholar, Alicia Larde. that they had a son. Then Nash suffered a catastrophic psychological breakdown. Nasar information Nash's harrowing descent into madness -- his weird and wonderful delusions that he was once the Prince of Peace; his resignation from MIT, flight to Europe, and try and surrender 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 kingdom health facility; his "enforced interludes of rationality" in which he was once capable of go back in brief to mathematical study. Nash and his spouse have been divorced in 1963, yet Alicia Nash endured to take care of him and for his or her mathematically proficient son, who was once clinically determined with schizophrenia as undefined. kept from homelessness by means of his dependable ex-wife and guarded through a handful of mathematical pals, 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 affliction and the unexpected choice of the Nobel Prize committee to honor his contributions to online game conception -- restored the area to him. Nasar recounts the sour behind-the-scenes conflict in Stockholm over no matter if to furnish the final word honor in technological know-how 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 response to 1000s of interviews with Nash's family members, associates, and associates and ratings of letters and files, a stunning brain is a heartbreaking yet inspiring tale concerning the so much awesome mathematician of our time and his overcome a sad affliction.
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Additional info for A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr.
52 More often, he expressed his suffering wordlessly. On one occasion, sometime during the 1970s, he was sitting at a table in the dining hall at the Institute for Advanced Study — the scholarly haven where he had once discussed his ideas with the likes of Einstein, von Neumann, and Robert Oppenheimer — alone as usual. 53 While Nash the man remained frozen in a dreamlike state, a phantom who haunted Princeton in the 1970s and 1980s scribbling on blackboards and studying religious texts, his name began to surface everywhere — in economics textbooks, articles on evolutionary biology, political science treatises, mathematics journals.
Dear Mr. Nash, Hi! I am 9 years old. My name is Ellie. I am a girl. I really admire you. You are my roll [sic] model for a lot of things. I think you are the smartest person who ever lived. I really wish to be like you. I would love to study math. The only problem with that is that I am not very good at math. I can do it. I like it. I am just not good at it. Was that what it was like for you when you were a kid? 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.
But there are very few stories, much less true stories, with a genuine third act. Nash’s story had — has — such a third act. Act III of Nash’s life story is his miraculous reawakening. It is that third act that makes Nash’s story resonate with people all over the world — most especially with those who suffer from devastating mental illnesses or love someone who does. ” Something extraordinary was possible. Of all the letters I’ve received from readers, my favorite came from a homeless man. It arrived in a dirty envelope with no return address, and it was scrawled on neon orange paper.
A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Sylvia Nasar