Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk

$ 14.00

Lincoln's Melancholy:  How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk is a 350-page hardcover published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.  The dust jacket has some minor surface wear, else perfect.  Inside, the book is in very good condition.

Book Summary

Drawing on seven years of his own research and the work of other esteemed Lincoln scholars, Shenk reveals how the sixteenth President harnessed his depression and to fuel his astonishing success.  Lincoln found the solace and tactics he needed to deal with the nation's worst crisis in the coping strategies he developed over a lifetime of persevered through depressive episodes and personal tragedies.

With empathy and authority gained from his own experience dealing with depression, Shenk crafts a nuanced, revelatory account of Lincoln and his legacy.  Based on careful, intrepid research, Lincoln's melancholy unveils a wholly new perspective on how our greatest president brought America through its greatest turmoil.

Shenk relates Lincoln's symptoms, including mood swings, and at least two major breakdowns, and offers compelling evidence of the evolution of his disease, from "major depression" in his twenties and thirties, to "chronic depression" later on.  Shenk reveals the treatments Lincoln endured and his efforts to come to terms with his melancholy, including a poem he published on suicide and his private notes on the value of personal--and national--suffering.  By consciously shifting his goal away from personal contentment (which he realized he could not attain) and toward universal justice, Lincoln gained the strength and insight that he, and America, required to transcend profound darkness.

ISBN-13:  978-0-618-55116-3
ISBN-10:  0-618-55116-6