Friday, October 10, 2008

Lincoln's Melancholy

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 Joshua Wolf Shenk

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book dealing with Lincoln's lifelong battle with depression. It describes the different types of depression Lincoln suffered at different stages of his life as well as the ways Lincoln dealt with his depression and how it affected his worldview. It also talks about the way depression was viewed in the 19th century and how Lincoln's peers saw him.

Joshua Wolf Shenk, the author, is a depression sufferer himself and writes with realistic insight and thorough research.

I highly recommend this book for its surprising historical and mental health insights.

View all my reviews.


rebecca said...

ok, so weird... we were JUST talking about this at dinner last night about doug duncan's "dropping out" of the democratic primary for gov and how wrong it is that he should even set that example for others suffering from depression (not to mention he would have made a better gov, but that's beside the point ;)

can't wait to read this!!

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Its a great book, Rebecca! Oddly enough, even without all the "advances in medicine" that we see now, or perhaps, because of it, it seems, from this author's perspective, that in the 19th century, people were more openly curious and protective of those with depression (at least in Lincoln's case) then they are now. Maybe all our wonderful drugs are making us just want to make it all go away. Not to mention the media giving every last detail of everyone's life. I doubt FDR could get elected today. Or Lincoln either, for that matter.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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