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Evening Dialogue: Rosalynn Carter and Joshua Shenk on Mental Health Misconceptions, Lincoln's Melancholy



Atlanta....Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will join Joshua Shenk, author of "Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness," for a special conversation on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carter Center's Ivan Allen III Pavilion. The conversation will be webcast live on, and both the lecture and book-signing are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mr. Shenk's highly acclaimed book, "Lincoln's Melancholy," explains for the first time that even as a young man, Lincoln showed signs of what we now call mental illness. Yet, Shenk argues, President Lincoln was able to derive strength from his depression. The coping skills Lincoln learned to use in his personal life later helped him to lead the nation through the difficult days of the Civil War.

The New York Times named "Lincoln's Melancholy" one of the 100 Notable Books of 2005. New York Times book reviewer Patricia Cohen wrote, "Shenk provides some fascinating details about Lincoln and offers a sensitive portrait of his emotional state."

Mrs. Carter has spent more than three decades as a champion for mental health issues, working to reduce the stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness. Among the projects she heads at the Carter Center is The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, which provides fellowships for journalists writing or producing works on mental health issues. Mr. Shenk is a 1998-1999 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism. Read more about him.

Together, Mrs. Carter and Mr. Shenk will discuss long-held misconceptions of mental illness and the ways individuals are able to cope with such disorders. They will look at not only the way Lincoln used depression to help him deal with the challenges of the Presidency in his day, but also discuss the challenges faced today by the one out of five Americans who have mental disorders.

Following the lecture, Mr. Shenk will sign copies of his book. "Lincoln's Melancholy" will be for sale at the event.

The Conversation with Rosalynn Carter and Joshua Shenk is sponsored by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, The Carter Center Mental Health Program, and the Georgia Center for the Book. For additional information call 404-865-7100.

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Rosalynn Carter

Joshua Wolf Shenk

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