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Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many…

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women… (original 1939; edition 1991)

by Alcoholics Anonymous

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2,262264,449 (4.28)28
Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the Big Book in recovery circles) sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. The fourth edition includes twenty-four new stories that provide contemporary sharing for newcomers seeking recovery from alcoholism in A.A. during the early years of the 21st century. Sixteen stories are retained from the third edition, including the "Pioneers of A.A." section, which helps the reader remain linked to A.A.'s historic roots, and shows how early members applied this simple but profound program that helps alcoholics get sober today. Approximately 21 million copies of the first three editions of "Alcoholics Anonymous" have been distributed. It is expected that the new fourth edition will play its part in passing on A.A.'s basic message of recovery. This fourth edition has been approved by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the hope that many more may be led toward recovery by reading its explanation of the A.A. program and its varied examples of personal experiences which demonstrate that the A.A. program works.… (more)
Title:Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism
Authors:Alcoholics Anonymous
Info:Hazelden (1991), Edition: 16th, Paperback, 605 pages
Collections:At Office

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Alcoholics Anonymous by Alcoholics Anonymous (1939)

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» See also 28 mentions

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As flawed as it is to compare people, since it doesn’t *really* matter, I think that the common alcoholic actually lives a worse life that you learn less from than those involved with the “epic” sort of sins of history. I know that might come off as just sounding like I’m trying to trash people, but as part of my holistic studies, I just think that acquiring a few lesser virtues and abusing and misusing them is actually better than acquiring fewer or no virtues and just falling apart because you have no idea how to live. There are certainly gradations of the disease, but at its worst it brings you to a total loss of virtue and even in more moderate gradations tends to be more perverse than simply being legalistically pure but lacking charity. You can be “as pure as angels but as proud as devils”, and down that road lies “epic” sin, but you cannot really be as impure as devils but as humble as angels, although you can be in denial about that. To the alcoholic, it’s all about me— this “I” that cannot pull itself together enough to live.

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”, it’s widespread, and it’s the greatest barrier. Once you can remind yourself what addiction is, whether it’s alcohol, the great classic addiction, or something more obscure, you can remind yourself that it’s not actually worth the price it imposes. Constantly you will forget; repeatedly you must be reminded.


Food service is often a great way to see people at their worst. I’m a dishwasher at an assisted living home, where a man died recently. In his obituary, there are examples of the various ways that his long life was good and productive, but all I knew about him was that he liked to drink after everybody else was done drinking. (No way to tell if it was only after his wife died, etc.)

I say this by way of qualification, since obviously the above is a hard saying.


It’s immensely satisfying to read; screw up; make it right; repeat.


Perhaps the greatest problem with my life has been my conviction that sin is stronger than grace.
  smallself | Apr 16, 2019 |
A must read for anyone ever touched by addiction. This "inspired" book is the foundation of a movement toward improving the lives of millions of people plagued by many and various obsessions. Anyone in the social services, religion or public service should count, at least the first 164 pages, as a MUST READ! ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
  StFrancisofAssisi | Jan 31, 2019 |
Amazon: I have studied this book as part of my recovery in 12-step groups. The book is a text book about how to work 12-step recovery. It may also give hope to a newcomer who is suffering and hopefully bring them to AA.
It's very 'male' and somewhat 'old-fashioned', but if you can look beyond that, it is an amazing book. For years it was my equivalent of a 'bible'. I now bought it as an e-book to read when on the go.
  WandsworthFriends | Jul 8, 2018 |
This book and theTwelve and Twelve, plus the fellowship changed my life. ( )
  PJCWLibrary | Dec 5, 2017 |
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Alcoholics Anonymousprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bill, W.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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War fever ran high in the New England town to which we new, young officers from Plattsburg were assigned, and we were flattered when the first citizens took us to their homes, making us feel more heroic.
But there is One who has all power--that One is God. May you find Him now. p. 59
My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, 'Why don't you choose your own conception of God?' That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. p. 12
...they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. p.xviii
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-- that principle is contempt prior to investigation. Herbert Spencer p. 570
They are restless irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks--drinks which they see others taking with impunity
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