When John Nash won the Nobel prize in economics in 1994, many
people were surprised to learn that he was alive and well. Since
then, Sylvia Nasar's celebrated biography "A Beautiful Mind," the
basis of a new major motion picture, has revealed the man. "The
Essential John Nash" reveals his work--in his own words. This book
presents, for the first time, the full range of Nash's diverse
contributions not only to game theory, for which he received the
Nobel, but to pure mathematics--from Riemannian geometry and
partial differential equations--in which he commands even greater
acclaim among academics. Included are nine of Nash's most
influential papers, most of them written over the decade beginning
From 1959 until his astonishing remission three decades later,
the man behind the concepts "Nash equilibrium" and "Nash
bargaining"--concepts that today pervade not only economics but
nuclear strategy and contract talks in major league sports--had
lived in the shadow of a condition diagnosed as paranoid
schizophrenia. In the introduction to this book, Nasar recounts how
Nash had, by the age of thirty, gone from being a wunderkind at
Princeton and a rising mathematical star at MIT to the depths of
In his preface, Harold Kuhn offers personal insights on his
longtime friend and colleague; and in introductions to several of
Nash's papers, he provides scholarly context. In an afterword, Nash
describes his current work, and he discusses an error in one of his
papers. A photo essay chronicles Nash's career from his student
days in Princeton to the present. Also included are Nash's Nobel
citation and autobiography.
"The Essential John Nash" makes it plain why one of Nash's
colleagues termed his style of intellectual inquiry as "like
lightning striking." All those inspired by Nash's dazzling ideas
will welcome this unprecedented opportunity to trace these ideas
back to the exceptional mind they came from.
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