Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Sylvia Nasar, 459 pp, with illus, $25, ISBN 0-684-81906-6, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1998.
A Beautiful Mind, by New York Times economics correspondent Sylvia Nasar, is a fascinating, complicated, and studious biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr, a fascinating and complicated mathematician. Nasar has crafted a very good biography of this intellectual giant.
As we follow the story of Nash's life, the author also describes some of this century's most interesting events and people, including the evolution of some of our best universities, some insights into the Nobel Prize process, and a glance at the life cycle of a mental illness. After I finished this book, I had learned a great deal but also had a renewed sense of how little I really know. Hopefully, readers will have a greater understanding and appreciation for individuals and their families who suffer from chronic mental illness. Some mental health professionals may feel a little frustrated by the time and depth the book spends on mental health issues.
Mental IllnessA Beautiful Mind. JAMA. 1999;281(1):87. doi:10.1001/jama.281.1.87