Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Excerpt from A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Beautiful Mind

The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

by Sylvia Nasar

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar X
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 1998, 464 pages

    Paperback:
    Dec 2001, 464 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

CONTENTS

Part One: A Beautiful Mind

    Part Two: Separate Lives

    1. Singularity
    2. A Special Friendship (Santa Monica, Summer 1952)
    3. Eleanor
    4. Jack
    5. The Arrest (RAND, Summer 1954)
    6. Alicia
    7. The Courtship
    8. Seattle (Summer 1956)
    9. Death and Marriage (1956-57)

    Part Three: A Slow Fire Burning

    1. Olden Lane and Washington Square (1956-57)
    2. The Bomb Factory
    3. Secrets (Summer 1958)
    4. Schemes (Fall 1958)
    5. The Emperor of Antarctica
    6. In the Eye of the Storm (Spring 1959)
    7. Day-Breaks in Bowditch Hall (McLean Hospital, April-May, 1959)
    8. Mad Hatter's Tea (May-June 1959)

    Part Four: The Lost Years

    1. Citoyen du Monde (Paris and Geneva, 1959-60)
    2. Absolute Zero (Princeton, 1960)
    3. Tower of Silence (Trenton State Hospital, 1961)
    4. An Interlude of Enforced Rationality (July 1961-April 1963)
    5. The "Blowing Up" Problem (Princeton and Carrier Clinic, 1963-65)
    6. Solitude (Boston, 1965-67)
    7. A Man All Alone in a Strange World (Roanoke, 1967-70)
    8. Phantom of Fine Hall (Princeton, 1970s)
    9. A Quiet Life (Princeton, 1970-90)

    Part Five: The Most Worthy

    1. Remission
    2. The Prize
    3. The Greatest Auction Ever (Washington, D.C., December 1994)
    4. Reawakening (Princeton, 1995-97)

    Notes
    Select Bibliography
    Acknowledgments
    Index



    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.
    -- WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

    John Forbes Nash, Jr. -- mathematical genius, inventor of a theory of rational behavior, visionary of the thinking machine -- had been sitting with his visitor, also a mathematician, for nearly half an hour. It was late on a weekday afternoon in the spring of 1959, and, though it was only May, uncomfortably warm. Nash was slumped in an armchair in one corner of the hospital lounge, carelessly dressed in a nylon shirt that hung limply over his unbelted trousers. His powerful frame was slack as a rag doll's, his finely molded features expressionless. He had been staring dully at a spot immediately in front of the left foot of Harvard professor George Mackey, hardly moving except to brush his long dark hair away from his forehead in a fitful, repetitive motion. His visitor sat upright, oppressed by the silence, acutely conscious that the doors to the room were locked. Mackey finally could contain himself no longer. His voice was slightly querulous, but he strained to be gentle. "How could you," began Mackey, "how could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical proof...how could you believe that extraterrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world? How could you...?"

    Copyright © 1998 by Sylvia Nasar.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.
Who Said...

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.