Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Martin J. Osborne
RICHARD DOOLING
John Milnor (pdf)
W.E. FITZGIBBON
brothersjudd.com

Sylvia Nasar

A Beautiful mind

'A Beautiful Mind' is Sylvia Nasar's account of the life of the mathemetician John F Nash, in particular his long mental illness and his gradual recovery. The book deals well with getting inside the mind of Nash as his behaviour becomes more and more irrational, showing how from his point of view it might seem to be the rational thing to do. We also see the dilemma of those caring for Nash - how intervention makes them seem hostile to him, but how doing nothing just allows the illness to get worse. In the end allowing him to 'haunt' the maths department without any pressure seemed to lead to his eventual recovery.

I have to say though that I struggled a bit with the first part of this book - it didn't seem to maintain a thread for the story. Many of those who knew Nash during his early career were interviewed, but then the later careers of these people were included, thus breaking up the flow of the book. I would have also liked to have seen more about the work that Nash did. I realise that this is not the place for technicalities, and that more detail is available elsewhere. However, for example, Nash's work on the embedding of manifolds into higher dimensional spaces keeps cropping up and I couldn't tell whether this described one result being developed, or whether he actually proved several theorems in this area.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0743224574
Salesrank: 143079
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2001 Touchstone
Amazon price $4.98
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0571212921
Salesrank: 37601
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2002 Faber & Faber
Amazon price £12.08
Marketplace:New from £5.47:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0743224574
Salesrank: 1105238
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2001 Simon & Schuster
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 10.99:Used from CDN$ 0.31
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Product Description
In a masterful blend of biography and science writing, Nasar traces John Forbes Nash, Jr.'s rise to the heights of intellectual achievement and his harrowing descent from eccentricity to insanity. Released as a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe and Ed Harris.