| print this
41(1), January 1957
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: New York, Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing
Co., 1955. 2nd. edition, 575p.
is the second and greatly enlarged edition of a book first
published in 1939. Three hundred thousand copies of the
first edition have been sold.
second edition presents identical material for the first
164 pages. The second part, made up of personal records,
has now been enlarged so that it contains 37 histories.
These are divided into three sections. The first contains
the history of 13 pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous. Part
Two, labeled "They Stopped in Time," contains
12 more histories. Except for additional introductory material
and the changes in the case histories, the book is identical
with the first edition.
those unfamiliar with the first edition, the book starts
out with an introduction, followed by historical material
and a discussion of the aims of Alcoholics Anonymous. There
is a good deal of detail about the program of recovery,
and enumeration of the now well-known 12 points which express
the fundamental beliefs of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are
special chapters for wives, for families and for employers.
The last chapter, titled "A Vision For You," is
an appeal to the alcoholic to make use of Alcoholics Anonymous
and adopt its procedures.
book presents the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous, a
philosophy which has had quite unexpected success, since
the reviewer doubts that any of those who witnessed the
beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous had any concept of what
it would achieve.
personal stories of the 37 alcoholics can be recommended
as reading to anyone who wants to get the first-hand history
of alcoholics who have managed to overcome the habit.
whole book presents the viewpoint of Alcoholics Anonymous,
which can be considered as one approach, and one of the
most successful, in dealing with the problem of the alcoholic.
Reading the book may make it comprehensible to the reader
why this program works with some persons and not others.
It is a limited approach which takes in only certain aspects.
It frankly admits its own inability to deal with certain
types cases. It does, however, show a remarkable record
of recovery for quite a large group, and on this basis has
clearly won an important status in any plan in dealing with
book should be required reading for anyone who wishes to
understand or deal with the problem of the alcoholic. Viewed
as an approach which has been developed by a special group
of alcoholics, it makes very interesting reading and gives
a much better understanding of many of these cases.
Karl M Bowman, M.D., San Francisco.