"ONE OF THE MAJOR SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY": FIRST EDITION OF VON NEUMANN'S THEORY OF GAMES
NEUMANN, John von and MORGENSTERN, Oskar. Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944. Octavo, original brown cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $4800.
First edition of von Neumann's groundbreaking treatise on game theory, highly influential in business, economics and the social sciences.
"One of the major scientific contributions of the first half of the 20th century" (Goldstine & Wigner). "Had it merely called to our attention the existence and exact nature of certain fundamental gaps in economic theory, the Theory of Games and Economic Behavior… would have been a book of outstanding importance. But it does more than that. It is essentially constructive: where existing theory is considered to be inadequate, the authors put in its place a highly novel analytical apparatus designed to cope with the problem. It would be doing the authors an injustice to say that theirs is a contribution to economics only. The scope of the book is much broader. The techniques applied by the authors in tackling economic problems are of sufficient generality to be valid in political science, sociology, or even military strategy. The applicability to games proper (chess and poker) is obvious from the title. Moreover, the book is of considerable interest from a purely mathematical point of view… The appearance of a book of the caliber of the Theory of Games is indeed a rare event" (World of Mathematics II:1267-84). With scarce corrigenda slip laid in. Without scarce dust jacket.
Text fine, edge-wear lightly affecting text at lower edge of rear corrigenda, faint soiling to cloth. A handsome near-fine copy.