This book is the biography of mathematician John Nash, the Nobel Laureate and father of Economic Game Theory. The book traces Nash’s childhood, his college career, his early love affair and bastard child, his eventual marriage, mental breakdown, treatment and recovery. Along the way, the author discusses Nash’s homosexual tendencies, his extreme arrogance and childish manner, his lack of social skills, and fear of failure. Nash’s flawed character makes the courageous support of his partner- Alicia Nash, and his university colleagues all the more touching.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
At nearly 400 pages, this book was a tough slog for most of the Critics. Much of the first third of the biography deals with Game Theory and mathematics and is not an easy read. Many of us opted for watching the Oscar winning film instead. We were extremely surprised at how little the film resembled Nash’s life. Important elements such as his other son, his divorce and his trips to Europe were completely missing. We also discussed the price of genius and the horror of schizophrenia.