Course Details

970: Lincoln's Depression

February 5-9
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

The first twenty years of Lincoln's adult personal life (1830-50) included two brief periods of severe depression when his friends thought that he might commit suicide.  We will consider his techniques for coping with his condition. He also struggled to find a wife before his marriage to Mary Todd. In addition, we will examine Lincoln's religious views, his fatalism, and his fascination with death and tragedy, as reflected in his favorite plays and poems, and his own poetry. Finally, we will attempt to assess Lincoln during these formative years. Book: Joshua Wolf Shenk, Lincoln's Melancholy. How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness. Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 for the first session.

Class Format: Discussion

Hours of Reading: 1-2 hours/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Robert Coe
Bob Coe has an MA in History from Columbia and an MAT in Teaching from Wesleyan. A former Foreign Service Officer, he has been teaching mostly history courses at OLLI since 2005.

Reading List:

Lincoln's Melancholy, Joshua Wolf Shenk. Mariner Books, 2005, ISBN: 9780618773442.