Key Facts

The book was adapted for film in 2001. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe as John Nash, the movie won four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

The film deviates in several key ways from the book. For instance, Ron Howard downplayed the fact that Nash stopped taking medication for schizophrenia and recovered without help of drugs. Howard said he did not want to give the message that it was safe to attempt a recovery from schizophrenia without medical assistance.

The book was well received critically, however, some noted that it was an unauthorized biography written without the consent of the subject of the book.

The book received the National Book Critics Award for biography and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

John Nash’s mathematical legacy is referred to as the Nash equilibrium. This is a feature of game theory in which the outcome of competing interests can be predicted and resolved. The Nash equilibrium has found applications in everything from traffic flow to international relations.

Sylvia Nassar’s most recent book is entitled Grand Pursuit. She argues that the field of economics has been instrumental in recusing humanity form squalor by taking economic conditions as the driving force behind circumstances rather than fate. Published in 2011, this book won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology.

John Nash and his wife Alicia were killed on May 23, 2015 in a car accident while taking a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike.

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