A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Sylvia Nasar

By Sylvia Nasar

During this dramatic and relocating biography, Sylvia Nasar re-creates the lifetime of a mathematical genius whose excellent profession was once reduce brief by way of schizophrenia and who, after 3 many years of devastating psychological disorder, miraculously recovered and was once commemorated with a Nobel Prize. a stunning brain lines the meteoric upward push of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely early life in West Virginia to his scholar 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 pupil invented what may develop into the main influential conception of rational human habit in smooth social technological know-how. Nash's contribution to online game thought might finally revolutionize the sector of economics. As a tender professor at MIT, nonetheless in his twenties, Nash dazzled the mathematical international through fixing a chain of deep difficulties deemed "impossible" through different mathematicians. As unconventional in his deepest existence as in his arithmetic, Nash fathered a baby with a lady he didn't marry. on the peak 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 was once a expert. At thirty, Nash used to be poised to take his dreamed-of position within the pantheon of history's maximum mathematicians. His affiliates integrated the main popular 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. 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 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 kingdom health facility; his "enforced interludes of rationality" within which he was once capable of go back in short to mathematical study. Nash and his spouse have been divorced in 1963, yet Alicia Nash persevered to deal with him and for his or her mathematically talented son, who used to be clinically determined with schizophrenia as undefined. stored from homelessness by way of his dependable ex-wife and guarded through 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 way of the skin global. His early achievements, notwithstanding, 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 determination of the Nobel Prize committee to honor his contributions to video game thought -- restored the area to him. Nasar recounts the sour behind-the-scenes conflict in Stockholm over even if to supply the last word honor in technological know-how 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 accordance with hundreds and hundreds of interviews with Nash's kinfolk, pals, and co-workers and rankings of letters and records, a gorgeous brain is a heartbreaking yet inspiring tale in regards to the such a lot outstanding mathematician of our time and his overcome a sad affliction.

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Extra resources for A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr.

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At the end of the academic year, he agreed to take a position in Bluefield with the Appalachian Power Company (now American Electric Power), the utility that would employ him for the next thirty-eight years. By June, he was living in rented rooms in Bluefield. Photographs of Margaret Virginia Martin — known as Virginia — at the time of her engagement to John Sr. show a smiling, animated woman, stylish and whippet-thin. ”8 Outgoing and energetic, Virginia was a freer, less rigid spirit than her quiet, reserved husband and a far more active presence in her son’s life.

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.

45 Schizophrenia contradicts popular but incorrect views of madness as consisting solely of wild gyrations of mood, or fevered delirium. 46 He may have, indeed usually does have, a firm grip on certain aspects of present reality. While he was ill, Nash traveled all over Europe and America, got legal help, and learned to write sophisticated computer programs. Schizophrenia is also distinct from manic depressive illness (currently known as bipolar disorder), the illness with which it has most often been confounded in the past.

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