Lincoln's Melancholy

  • by Joshua Wolf Shenk
  • Narrated by Richard M. Davidson
  • 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Drawing on a wealth of his own research and the work of other Lincoln scholars, Shenk reveals how the sixteenth president harnessed his depression 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 persevering through depressive episodes and personal tragedies.With empathy and authority gained from his own experience with depression, Shenk crafts a nuanced, revelatory account of Lincoln and his legacy, and in the process unveils a wholly new perspective on how our greatest president guided America through its greatest turmoil.


What the Critics Say

"This is sensitive history, with important implications for the present." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Oh dear

Any additional comments?

Not sure that there is much more depressing out there than a long book about Lincoln's depression. Not suggested for long family car drives, people feeling discouraged or anyone a bit down. Really can't think what came over me to buy this book. Guess I thought that there might be insights of interest and use. I just never reached them. I had just finished reading a pile of books about Lincoln. This one I can't recommend.

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- STS "..."

Lincoln was depressed - who knew?

We live in an age of ease and comfort and ironically increasing depression by trying to keep that lifestyle growing. I found the documentation of how Lincoln dealt with his depression using humor and plain old dogged determination explained clinically well by a mental health professional very refreshing. How Lincoln handled depression without medication hopefully may give strength to the many people who currently suffer from what is now recognized as an often chronic and very widespread condition. This great listen of a book only added to my respect for Lincoln as a president and as an individual. I think it should be required reading for anyone suffering from what Lincoln himself referred to as The Black Dog - which by recognizing as a condition he could help to try to distance himself from it or at least understand it and thus carry on during one of the most stressful times in our country's history. You see stress can cause depression in some and what could have been more stressful than our own Civil War?
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- Scott "Don't you just love a great story well told?"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2005
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books