Vol. 15: 96, August 15, 1955
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (Second Edition)
Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing Co., July 16, 1955.
This book is a revision of the first edition originally published in 1939 which has gone through 300,000 copies. Not only does it tell the appalling story of alcoholism, but it also serves to give a deep insight into the philosophy and functioning of A.A.
Five chapters devoted to the relationship of the alcoholic to his wife and family contain many instances of marital and domestic difficulties, their meaning and methods of handling them. Spouses and families that have been spared the presence of an alcoholic can never fully appreciate what it means to have a family member a victim. These chapters dispel many of the misconceptions and false notions of how the alcoholic should be treated, and they offer many sound suggestions in this area.
The second part of the book contains thirty-seven case histories of alcoholics. Twelve of these relate to pioneers of A. A.; twelve tell about people who stopped drinking in time. The remainder are inspirational in nature.
At the present time A.A. numbers more than 150,000 members. In view of its short history, less than twenty years, this is a phenomenal growth. Since we have over 800,000 problem drinkers in the U.S. it is immediately obvious that hospitalization is impossible even if it were feasible. Because of this fact, efforts like A.A. take on a practical urgency. As the book well indicates, A.A. does not seek to supplant the psychiatrist or medical man. However, the group experiences of A.A. has evidently been sufficiently strong to help chronic alcoholics take the steps necessary for their rehabilitation.
This book is a welcome addition to the literature on alcoholism. It has value for the alcoholic who is seeking help, his family and friends and even the persons professionally concerned with his treatment and recovery.