Stephen Budiansky is the author of eighteen books of biography, history, and science. From 1979 to 1982 he was a magazine editor and radio producer at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C.; from 1982 to 1985 he was Washington correspondent and then Washington editor of the scientific journal Nature. He joined the staff of U.S. News & World Report, where he worked in a variety of writing and editing positions, including national security correspondent, foreign editor, and deputy editor. Since 1998 he has been a full-time author and independent scholar, and in 2011 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts as a writer of general nonfiction. His books include Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas (2019); Code Warriors: NSA's Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union (2016); and Mad Music: Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel (2014).
One of the great geniuses of the 20th century, barely known outside the academy today, receives a much-needed expert biographical treatment ... An outstanding biography of a man of incomprehensible brilliance. * Kirkus reviews * Journey to the Edge of Reason is an intimate and haunting portrait of one of the most elusive gods on Princeton's Mt. Olympus. A triumph of research and a wonderful read. * Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind * Kurt Goedel's mathematical results on incompleteness and undecidable propositions leave it up to us, as individuals, to choose whether to mourn these limits to the power of formal systems, or celebrate his proof that even the most rigid numerical bureaucracy contains the tools by which higher truth will always be able to effect an escape. Stephen Budianksy's Journey to the Edge of Reason expertly and humanely frames these results between Goedel's childhood under the dark shadow of the Austrian and Nazi bureaucracies, his escape to America, his descent into physical and mental illness, and his achievement of a reconciliation between spiritual faith and scientific proof. * George Dyson, author of Analogia and Turing's Cathedral * A painstakingly researched and lucidly presented biography-a close-up of one of the most influential and enigmatic thinkers of the twentieth century-full of vivid detail and sharp historical insight. * Karl Sigmund, professor of mathematics, University of Vienna, and author of Exact Thinking in Demented Times * A brilliant biography of one of the most original thinkers of all time, Journey to the Edge of Reason is as deep and precise as the genius it describes. In a paradox befitting Goedel himself, it takes a tale of logic and its limits and finds, at its heart, something strangely soulful and sympathetic. * Steven Strogatz, professor of mathematics, Cornell University, and author ofInfinite Powers *