November 13, 2023

Did You Hear about This American Tragedy?


The Best Minds is Jonathan Rosen's brilliant and heartbreaking account of an American tragedy. It is a story about the bonds of family, friendship, and community; the promise of intellectual achievement; and the lure of utopian solutions. Tender, funny, and harrowing by turns, at times almost unbearably sad, The Best Minds is an extreme version of a story that is tragically familiar to all too many. In the hands of a writer of Jonathan Rosen's gifts and dedication, its significance will echo widely.

What did Jonathan Rosen investigate?

Acclaimed author Jonathan Rosen’s haunting investigation is about the forces that led his closest childhood friend, Michael Laudor, from the heights of brilliant promise to the forensic psychiatric hospital where he has lived since killing the woman he loved.

What is the story about?

It's a story about friendship, love, and the price of self-delusion.The Best Minds explores the ways in which we understand—and fail to understand—mental illness.

A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions.


The New York Times said, "Brave and nuanced…an act of tremendous compassion and a literary triumph.”

The Wall Street Journal said, "Immensely emotional and unforgettably haunting."

Jonathan Rosen is the author of The Talmud and the Internet and the novels Eve's Apple and Joy Comes in the Morning. His essays have appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker. He is the editorial director of Nextbook.

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