With the new film about Lincoln hitting the theaters, Joshua Shenk's book, Lincoln’s Melancholy: how depression challenged a president and fueled his greatness
gives thoughtful background on how Lincoln’s struggle with sadness
made him a great president. Using thorough research from the past and tying that in with today’s medical knowledge about depression, Shenk convincingly argues that a major part of Lincoln’s greatness was thanks to the methods he used to cope with his illness. Famously, Lincoln used humor, loving funny stories, along with time for reflecting that served him well in navigating through America’s biggest crisis – the Civil War. Shenk uses Lincoln’s own words as well as his contemporaries’ accounts in this book, making it simply fascinating.