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Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions


1. You might ask if any students would like to read their letters to the class.

2. At the start of the discussion, you should remind students of the overriding fact of the Cold War: because the United States and the Soviet Union each possessed enough nuclear weapons to devastate the other, neither side would benefit from an all-out war.


1. Point out that the prisoner's dilemma demonstrates the importance of knowing how other actors will behave. If each prisoner can predict what the other prisoner will do, or if the two prisoners can communicate with one another during the interrogation, both will know not to confess.

2. The discussion should address such issues as how (and at what age) such individuals would be identified, whether individuals should receive assistance even if they belong to wealthy families, and what duties might be imposed on them in exchange for this assistance.


1. Timelines should include basic events such as Nash's birth, his admission to Princeton, his employment at MIT, his marriage and divorce, his reuniting with Alicia, and his being awarded the Nobel Prize.

2. Given the technical nature of RAND research, you might prefer to do this activity as a class.


1. Berlin: Soviet blockade of West Berlin, 1948 and building of Berlin Wall, 1961; Koreas: war between Communist North and anti-Communist South, 1950-1953; Vietnam: war between Communist North and anti-Communist South, 1955-1975; Angola: Cuban intervention on Communist side in civil war, 1975; Israel/Egypt: several wars, with Israel supported by the U.S. and Egypt supported by the Soviet Union.

2. Common themes in Nash's delusions were competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, which reflected Cold War tensions, and alien beings, which reflected the start of space exploration.

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