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Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
Lincoln's Melancholy How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
Author: Joshua Wolf Shenk
Drawing on seven years of his own research and the work of other — Lincoln scholars, Joshua Shenk reveals how the sixteenth president — harnessed his depression to fuel his astonishing achievements. — Lincoln found the solace and tactics he needed to deal with the nation"s — worst crisis in the "coping strategies" that helped him persevere — through ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780618773442
ISBN-10: 0618773444
Publication Date: 10/2/2006
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7

3.4 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Mariner Books
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 3
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reviewed Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Ironically, I started reading this book around Lincolns birthday and finished around the date of his death. Lincolns melancholy: how depression challenged a president and fueled his greatness is a thoughtful, well-researched book examining Abraham Lincoln though the lens of mental illness as well as melancholy in light of Lincolns experience. As explained in the Afterward, Joshua Wolf Shenk became interested in Lincolns mental life at a time when he can delve into primary sources to explore this topic. This is not a cradle-to-grave biography or psychological autopsy of Abe, but rather organizes sections of his life into phases defined by his relationship to his suffering and was placed into the spiritual, medical, and social context of nineteenth-century America. Shenk argues that Lincoln, with two mental breakdowns in his youth, did not cease to suffer, but eventually turned his anguish into a sense of purpose and order in the world. That can be considered a depressing lesson, but a profound and potentially more realistic one, insightfully and articulately delivered by Shenk after seven years of research. Highly recommended, although probably not for someone in the throes of an acute depressive episode.
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reviewed Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness on + 19 more book reviews
This was a good book, although written in a very "academic" style.


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