When Abraham Lincoln wrote that the better part of one's life consists of his friendships, it is likely that he had in mind his friendship with Joshua Speed. Starting as roommates in Springfield, the two formed an extraordinarily close attachment, one that provided both men with considerable support at an important point in their respective lives. In his book Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed
(Columbia University Press, 2016), historian and psychoanalyst Charles Strozier
applies the tools of both of his disciplines to exploring the bond between the two of them. In many ways the two were a study in contrasts, with Speed the more outgoing and polished of the two. Yet the younger Speed idolized the gangling lawyer and politician, and his friendship provided Lincoln with succor through depression and emotional turmoil. It was a favor Lincoln returned as well, and though the two became less close with Speed's return to Kentucky in 1842, their enduring friendship led Speed to play a key role in Lincoln's effort to preserve the union during the Civil War.