A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

Book - 2011
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In this powerful and dramatic biography Sylvia Nasar vividly recreates the life of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize.

"How could you, a mathematician, believe that extraterrestrials were sending you messages?" the visitor from Harvard asked the West Virginian with the movie-star looks and Olympian manner. "Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way my mathematical ideas did," came the answer. "So I took them seriously."

Thus begins the true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius who was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness, and who--thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community--emerged after decades of ghostlike existence to win a Nobel Prize for triggering the game theory revolution. The inspiration for an Academy Award-winning movie, Sylvia Nasar's now-classic biography is a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over adversity, and the healing power of love.
Publisher: New York ;, Toronto, Ontario :, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,, 2011.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster trade pbk. ed.
Copyright Date: ©1998
ISBN: 9781451628425
Characteristics: 461 pages, 8 pages of unnumbered plates :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.


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Jan 24, 2018

I only finished this biography because I said I would.
John was so repulsive and abusive that I felt like I was wasting my time reading about him.
The book IS well written though.

Jun 06, 2017

Well written and certainly thorough. John Nash lived an interesting life, but he doesn't come across as a particularly likable person (or one to whom it is particularly easy to relate).

Mar 16, 2017

The audio version read by Anna Fields is the ideal one for listening. Fields has a delivery that somehow conveys a deep understanding of both the book and the subject. Though very long for a biography, it never ceases to be interesting. This is due in part to the thorough introductions to the world of high-level mathematics, Nash's mental illness, the McCarthy era, and so on. One gets a vivid picture of the times in which Nash lived. The book also conveys directly Nash's many faults, most of which the film version glosses over or omits completely. When the book was over, I missed it. This is always a sign that the book was good.

Jan 20, 2013

A beautiful mind and a beautiful biography. They don't come better than this. A great read.

Sep 19, 2012

The movie's fine as a dramatization (although not great as an adaptation, and often more fiction than fact), but the book is much better. The real story would be hard to film properly, since the drama is as much one of ideas as of people.

Dec 05, 2007

Finalist 1999 Pulitzer prize.

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