Sylvia Nasar, economics correspondent for the New York Times, traces his story from his childhood in West Virginia through his graduate years at Princeton and his faculty years at MIT before his breakdown. She paints a picture of an ambitious, intuitive, arrogant, socially awkward mathematics whiz who develops intense crushes on young men but who winds up with two women and a son by each. Although the story is mainly about John Nash, it also describes his family, his friends, and his colleagues and rivals amid the competitive world of pure mathematics. We get to know the two women, Eleanor and Alicia, each admirable in her own way. We get to know the two sons, both named John, one growing up in foster homes and poverty, estranged from his father, and the other, much loved and attended, a promising mathematician and brilliant chess player who succumbs to schizophrenia at age 17.