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

ISBN-10: 0618773444

ISBN-13: 9780618773442

Edition: 2005

Authors: Joshua Wolf Shenk

List price: $15.95
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Description:

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 depressive episodes and personal tragedies. 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" in middle age, to a state transcending our concept of depression. 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Lincoln endured and his efforts to come to terms with his melancholy, including a poem he published on suicide and his unpublished writings on the value of personal-and national-suffering. By 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.
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Book details

List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/2/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100

Joshua Wolf Shenk is an essayist and independent scholar whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and in the national bestseller Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression. He has written for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, New Republic, the Economist, U.S. News and World Report, and other publications. His book, Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness, has won awards from the Abraham Lincoln Institute, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National Mental Health Association.

Prelude
Introduction
The Community Said He Was Crazy
A Fearful Gift
I Am Now the Most Miserable Man Living
A Self-Made Man
A Misfortune, Not a Fault
The Reign of Reason
The Vents of My Moods and Gloom
Its Precise Shape and Color
The Fiery Trial Through Which We Pass
Comes Wisdom to Us
Epilogue
Afterword: "What Everybody Knows"
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index