I remember reading something, probably a blog post on Xanga, about famous people and mental disorders which mentioned Abraham Lincoln and depression. The thought that Lincoln would have depression and how it might have manifested has stayed in my mind because Lincoln not just lived through a tough period of the United State’s history; he was the leader through that period. I wanted to find out for myself more about the man.
My first opportunity to read more about Lincoln so far has been to read “The Life of Abraham Lincoln” by Henry Ketcham. It is a free book for the Kindle. 41 Chapters highlight the events and character of Lincoln with each chapter being about 8-10 pages. I read about 1 or 2 chapters a night. This book does not go very in depth yet it is a good overview and introduction to the man: who he was, what he lived through, people’s opinions of him, etc.
For me, growing up reading and hearing about Lincoln, he’s become such a legend. He is often portrayed in the media, that familiar tall, lanky figure with a beard and stovepipe hat. Sometimes the portrayal is solemn, sometimes comical; after reading this book, I think it would be fair to say that he was a serious man who enjoyed humor and had a good command of it.
And while I am no Abraham Lincoln, I find some parts resonated with me. It seems that Lincoln had such a tender heart for people, all people, each person. That tenderness also shows up in his grief in the idea that he has done someone wrong. People have called me “cold-hearted” and “Ice Queen,” my good friends have said this to my face, not meaning to insult, yet I do have a tenderness for others which I have difficulty expressing. Some of my plainness of speech, which can come off coldly, is because I don’t want to do further harm to someone by letting them go on in ignorance or illusion. To explain this further would take some doing [another post, another time] and so I’ll wrap up this portion with saying that I could never be Lincoln but I do look to him as a role model for how I ought to think of and treat another person.
It’s difficult to know what to write about a book about Lincoln without feeling like writing a whole other book as well. I highlighted many parts and made notes throughout the book. I enjoyed reading Ketcham’s book and I think he did the job credibly.
I look forward to reading more about Abraham Lincoln. I find that this book has increased my interest in the former President. I’m not sure my intrigue of the man could ever be fulfilled.
I recommend “The Life of Abraham Lincoln” to any US citizen, especially those who are into history, biographies, or politics.
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Thank you for reading.