Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness

Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness


By (author) Joshua Wolf Shenk

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  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • Format: Paperback | 350 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 25mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 2 October 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
  • ISBN 10: 0618773444
  • ISBN 13: 9780618773442
  • Edition statement: 6. Aufl. ed.
  • Sales rank: 97,372

Product description

A thoughtful, nuanced portrait of Abraham Lincoln that finds his legendary political strengths rooted in his most personal struggles. Giving shape to the deep depression that pervaded Lincoln's adult life, Joshua Wolf Shenk's "Lincoln's Melancholy" reveals how this illness influenced both the president's character and his leadership. Lincoln forged a hard path toward mental health from the time he was a young man. Shenk draws from historical record, interviews with Lincoln scholars, and contemporary research on depression to understand the nature of his unhappiness. In the process, he discovers that the President's coping strategies--among them, a rich sense of humor and a tendency toward quiet reflection--ultimately helped him to lead the nation through its greatest turmoil.

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Review quote

"A profoundly human and psychologically important examination of the melancholy that so pervaded Lincoln's life....Remarkable." --Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of An Unquiet Mind