A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John NashIn this biography, Sylvia Nasar recreates the life of a mathematical genius whose brilliant career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize. A Beautiful Mind traces the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely childhood in West Virginia to his student years at Princeton, where he encountered Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and a host of other mathematical luminaries. At twentyone, the handsome, ambitious, eccentric graduate student invented what would become the most influential theory of rational human behavior in modern social science. Nash's contribution to game theory would ultimately revolutionize the field of economics. At thirty, Nash was poised to take his dreamedof place in the pantheon of history's greatest mathematicians. Then Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown Nasar details Nash's harrowing descent into insanity  his bizarre delusions that he was the Prince of Peace; his resignation from MIT, flight to Europe, and attempt to renounce his American citizenship; his repeated hospitalizations, from the storied McLean, where he came to know the poet Robert Lowell, to the crowded wards of a state hospital; his "enforced interludes of rationality" during which he was able to return briefly to mathematical research. At age sixtysix, twin miracles  a spontaneous remission of his illness and the sudden decision of the Nobel Prize committee to honor his contributions to game theory  restored the world to him. Nasar recounts the bitter behindthescenes battle in Stockholm over whether to grant the ultimate honor in science to a man thought to be "mad." She describes Nash's current ambition to pursue new mathematical breakthroughs and his efforts to be a loving father to his adult sons. 
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User Review  foof2you  LibraryThingThe biography of John Nash a brilliant man whose mental illness interrupts his life and affects those around him. He seems to be different or strange long before the mental illness takes over his life ... Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  JRCornell  LibraryThingThe 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 Priz Read full review
Contents
Prologue  11 
A Beautiful Mind  23 
Bluefydd 192845 25  40 
The Center of the Universe Princeton Fall 1948  49 
School oi Genius Princeton Fall 1948  58 
Genius Princeton 194849  66 
Games Princeton Spring 1949  75 
John von Neumann Princeton 194849  79 
Seattle Summer 1956  203 
Death and Marriage 195657  208 
A Slow Fire Burning  213 
Olden Lane and Washington Square 195657  215 
The Bomb Factory  222 
Secrets Summer 1958  228 
Schemes Fall 1958  235 
The Emperor of Antarctica  239 
The Theory of Games  83 
The Bargaining Problem Princeton Spring 1949  88 
Nashs Rival Idea Princeton 194950  92 
Lloyd Princeton 1950  99 
The War of Wits RAND Summer 1950  104 
Game Theory at RAND  115 
The Draft Princeton 195051  123 
A Beautiful Theorem Princeton 195051  128 
MIT  133 
Bad Boys  139 
Experiments RAND Summer 1952  147 
Reds Spring 1953  152 
Geometry  155 
Separate Lives  165 
Singularity  167 
A Special Friendship Santa Monica Summer 1952  169 
Eleanor  172 
Jack  180 
The Arrest RAND Summer 1954  184 
Alicia  190 
The Courtship  199 
In the Eye of the Storm Spring 1959  248 
Day Breaks in Bowditch Hall McLean Hospital AprilMay 1959  253 
Mad Hatters Tea MayJune 1959  262 
The Lost Years  267 
Citoyen du Monde Paris and Geneva 195960  269 
Absolute Zero Princeton 1960  283 
Tower of Silence Trenton State Hospital 1961  288 
An Interlude of Enforced Rationality July 1961April 1963  295 
The Blowing Up Problem Princeton and Carrier Clinic 196565  305 
Solitude Boston 196567  314 
A Man All Alone in a Strange World Roanoke 196770  323 
Phantom of Fine Hall Princeton 1970s  332 
A Quiet Life Princeton 197090  340 
The Most Worthy  347 
Remission  349 
The Prize  356 
The Greatest Auction Ever Washington D C December 1994  374 
Reawakening Princeton 199597  379 
Epilogue  389 
437  
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Common terms and phrases
academy Advanced Study Alicia Nash American Arthur Mattuck asked Baumecker Bluefield Borel Bricker Browder Calabi Cambridge Cohen common room Confidential source Danskin Donald Spencer Duchane email economics economists Einstein Eleanor Emma faculty Felix Browder friends game theory genius GianCarlo Rota graduate student Harold Kuhn Harvard Hormander hospital Ibid idea Institute for Advanced interest interview John David John Forbes Nash John Milnor John Nash John von Neumann Johnny knew Larde later lecture Lefschetz Letter from John Levinson Lindbeck Lloyd Shapley looked Martha Nash Legg Martin Martin Shubik math mathematicians mathematics department Morgenstern Moser Nash's Newman Nobel paper patients person players Postcard Poundstone Princeton University prize committee problem professor of mathematics psychiatrist RAND RAND's recalled Riemann schizophrenia seemed Shapley Shubik social Solomon Lefschetz Stahl Steenrod Stier summer talk theorem things thought told Tucker turned wanted Weibull Wiener William wrote York young