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Download Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness, by Joshua Wolf Shenk Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,428 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Wolf Shenk Narrator: Richard M. Davidson Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This myth-shattering work of interpretive history chronicles Lincoln's life-long struggles with depression. In the days before Prozac and psychology, he harnessed his depression and found the solace and tactics he needed to deal with the nation's worst cr Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Intellectually energetic…By treating Lincoln from this angle, Shenk does gain a dimension that not all Lincoln books achieve.”

    Washington Post

  • “It contains some extremely beautiful prose and fine political rhetoric and leaves one feeling close to Lincoln, a considerable accomplishment.”

    New York Magazine

  • “A fresh, fascinating, provocative psychohistory.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[Shenk argues] with uncommon common sense, a rare understanding of historical context, and a close reading of the primary sources.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A significant contribution to the study of Lincoln and his battle with depression that will resonate with contemporary Americans…Inspirational.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “This is sensitive history, with important implications for the present.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Compelling…An estimable contribution to the Lincoln literature.”


  • Lincoln’s Melancholy is an extraordinary story, for the depth of its scholarship and the lure of its style.”

    Mike Wallace, cohost of 60 Minutes

  • “Lincoln not only coped with his depression, he harnessed it. Joshua Wolf Shenk [explains how] masterfully and memorably.”

    Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

  • “A profoundly human and psychologically important examination of the melancholy that so pervaded Lincoln’s life…Remarkable.”

    Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of An Unquiet Mind

  • One of the 2005 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Annelise | 2/20/2014

    " I have always had a fascination with Lincoln but didn't know much about him. I also have a difficult time expressing any interest in history. This book, however, was fascinating. There was so much information about Lincoln before his presidency and also about many common mental illnesses. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Javier | 2/19/2014

    " A great read--Shenk posits that Lincoln was clinically depressed for most of his adult life, and he finds that this depression helped Lincoln achieve things he might not have been able to otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tess | 2/18/2014

    " I'm not as into historical biographies as my love is but he after he read this and talked about it, I dug in. It's fascinating to see a different side of Lincoln that isn't talked about, his mental health struggles and dramas. It's not written in a gossipy manner, the analysis and how it related to his choices is truly interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marianne Meyers | 2/13/2014

    " I found this book very moving and insightful. The concept of depression and living with it was quite different in the mid-1850s than what it is considered today. We all know what a great man Lincoln was, but he was that way because of the pain of his life and found a way to live with it with honesty and humility. A lesson in living for all of us. "

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