A country lawyer with only 1 year of formal schooling, Lincoln found himself in the middle of the greatest conflict in American history. When elected, he was called a country bumpkin and a disgrace. By the time the Civil War ended (1860-1865), 529,000 men out of a country of 32 million lost their lives. Every family was touched by the agony. Despite the pressure, his spiritual development was astounding during those years. How was this possible? Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Schenk, records how Lincoln struggled with serious depression from a very young age. Yet, he notes, his pain fueled his greatness and propelled growth. He was able to integrate his deep feelings, his melancholy, and his failures into a larger purpose. His lifelong journey involved integrating his gifts and talents, which were so powerful, with his sadness and depression. In photos, we can observe he. Read more.