42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Insight,
This review is from: A Beautiful Mind (Paperback)
Nasar provides an exhaustive account of the life of John F. Nash, Jr, who is perhaps one of the great geniuses of the past century, and could have been greater still if paranoid schizophrenia had not intervened.
What is so important about this work is that Nasar is equally skilled in communicating the extent of Nash's illness and the significance of his battle against it as she is in communicating the extent of his mathematical genius. She does not simply examine Nash, but also the effect that Nash had on those around him, whether positive or negative. Although it is blatantly obvious that Nash is a hero of Nasar's, she is certainly not afraid to criticise specific actions or attitudes of his when she feels that such criticism is justified. Perhaps the most potent examples of this occur when Nash's personal life is described in a large amount of detail. This produces a tremendously balanced, no-holds-barred, biography.
The fact that this book shares its title with Ron Howard's latest film is misleading to some extent, since this book devles much deeper than a two-hour film ever could. So, even if you have seen the film, as I had, you will be shocked and captivated by new revelations about Nash, and come away with a much more complete picture of the man. The sheer volume of the footnotes at the end of the book is a testament both to its accuracy and the effort that Nasar invested in it.