The Journey Inward: Did Lincoln's Depression Add To His Greatness


June 8, 2017

A year before he died the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy told a reporter for the New York World about the reaction of a young Caucasus warrior viewing a picture of Abraham Lincoln. The young man’s eyes welled up with tears. Tolstoy asked him why he was so sad. He replied: “Don’t you find, judging from his picture, that his eyes are full of tears and that his lips are sad with a secret sorrow?”

The warrior’s perceptiveness about Lincoln’s careworn face suggests that if we look at his photographs we also see a measure of sadness. Rarely smiling, his face is etched with creases...

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