Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
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... show more
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.
Publish date: October 2nd 2006
Publisher: Mariner Books
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
, American History
, Mental Health
, Mental Illness
, Military History
, Civil War
I am starting this review with two caveats. First, this book is engagingly written, and Joshua Wolf Shenk has done his research. In spite of this, I don't think it's a good first book for anyone to read on Lincoln, because much of Shenk's focus is on revisionist history. Although he does a laudable ...
According to this author Abraham Lincoln was a cronic depressive to the point of virtual psychosis and to the point of being suicidal. He seems to think that if Lincoln was living in present times he would have likely to have been institutionalized for at least some amount of time and he could never...
I just don't know what to make of this book. It's interesting and filled with all sorts of delectable detail, but as far as the major premise goes, I remain skeptical. The author's assumption is that because melancholy and depression change your focus on how you see the world and because Lincoln suf...