A.A. History by Mitchell K.

Early History of Alcoholic Anonymous

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Since its beginning in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions of alcoholics get and stay sober. Members whose lives have been changed by A.A. hold the fellowship in high esteem and view the early members who founded the movement as pioneers of a program responsible for saving their lives.

These articles about those pioneers and the early days of A.A. were written by nationally recognized historian and oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.

especially for visitors to the About.com Alcoholism website.

Why Study A.A. History?
A look at the roots of the granddaddy of 12-step programs and why it is important to remember them.

In the Beginning...
The study of the history of Alcoholics Anonymous begins way before its actual founding.

A Glimmer of Hope for Staying Sober
A historic meeting between Bill W. and Dr. Bob plants the seeds for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Correcting Errors in the 'Approved' A.A. History
Why some facts in this series of articles do not match the "official" conference-approved version.

Dr. Bob's Last Drink
Dr. Bob sponsored more than 5,000 AA members and left the legacy of his life as an example.

Early A.A. Efforts at Getting Drunks Sober
Bill W. and Dr. Bob began their quest to carry the message to other "hopeless" alcoholics.

Roots of The Big Book 'Alcoholics Anonymous'
Most of the ideas and wording in the A.A. book came from other writers.

Writing the Big Book
There are hundreds of quotes from these early books which can be found, almost verbatim in the Big Book.

Financing the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
Bill W. turned to the Rockefellers for help to publish the A.A. book.

Alcoholics Anonymous Becomes Self Supporting
The idea of Alcoholics Anonymous becoming a self-supporting organization came from a surprising source.

The Big Book Goes to Press
After long and heated "discussions" the Alcoholics Anonymous book was finally ready to be published in 1939.

The Big Book is Published
The publication of the Big Book did not bring the initial response that was expected by its authors.

Influx of Members Expected in Early A.A.
A 1941 article in a national magazine was expected to attract many new members into Alcoholics Anonymous.

1941 Saturday Evening Post Article Boosts A.A.
Membership in A.A. skyrocketed after publication of the Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941.

The Growth of A.A. Central Offices
As the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship began to grow in the 1940's, the first central offices were created.

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