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Fortress Mathematica

Brian Rotman: John Nash and Paul Erdos, 17 September 1998

The Man who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth 
by Paul Hoffman.
Fourth Estate, 320 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 1 85702 811 2
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Proofs from the Book 
by Martin Aigner and Günter Ziegler.
Springer, 210 pp., £19, August 1998, 3 540 63698 6
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A Beautiful Mind: Genius and Schizophrenia in the Life of John Nash 
by Sylvia Nasar.
Faber, 464 pp., £17.99, September 1998, 0 571 17794 8
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... from Erdös, it might well be John Forbes Nash, 1994 Nobel Laureate in Economics, the subject of Sylvia Nasar’s biography. Where Erdös was impish, kind, open to all and monkishly pure, Nash was overbearing, secretive and abrasive, with a stormy marriage, an illegitimate son and several complicated liaisons with men. Erdös was a problem-solver ...

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