Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism

Overview


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 ...
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Overview


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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781893007161
  • Publisher: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 345,637
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Preface

This is the fourth edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The first edition appeared in April 1939, and in the following sixteen years, more than 300,000 copies went into circulation. The second edition, published in 1955, reached a total of more than 1,150,500 copies. The third edition, which came off press in 1976, achieved a circulation of approximately 19,550,000 in all formats.

Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it. Therefore, the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program, has been left untouched in the course of revisions made for the second, third, and fourth editions. The section called "The Doctor’s Opinion" has been kept intact, just as it was originally written in 1939 by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, our Society’s great medical benefactor.

The second edition added the appendices, the Twelve Traditions, and the directions for getting in touch with A.A. But the chief change was in the section of personal stories, which was expanded to reflect the Fellowship’s growth. "Bill’s Story," "Doctor Bob’s Nightmare," and one other personal history from the first edition were retained intact; three were edited and one of these was retitled; new versions of two stories were written, with new titles; thirty completely new stories were added; and the story section was divided into three parts, under the same headings that are used now.

In the third edition, Part I ("Pioneers of A.A.") was left unchanged. Nine of the stories in Part II ("They Stopped in Time") were carried over from the second edition; eight new stories were added. In Part III ("They Lost Nearly All"), eight stories were retained; five new ones were added.

This fourth edition includes the Twelve Concepts for World Service and revises the three sections of personal stories as follows. One new story has been added to Part I, and two that originally appeared in Part III have been repositioned there; six stories have been deleted. Six of the stories in Part II have been carried over, eleven new ones have been added, and eleven taken out. Part III now includes twelve new stories; eight were removed (in addition to the two that were transferred to Part I).

All changes made over the years in the Big Book (A.A. members' fond nickname for this volume) have had the same purpose: to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics. If you have a drinking problem, we hope that you may pause in reading one of the forty-two personal stories and think: "Yes, that happened to me"; or, more important, "Yes, I’ve felt like that"; or, most important, "Yes, I believe this program can work for me too."

© Copyright 2004 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
All Right Reserved

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    Instrumental in Keeping Millions Sober

    This book, written by AA founder Bill W., is affectionately known as the Big Book by millions of AAs, and has been reproduced in countless languages. Bill and others tell their personal stories, how the AA program works, and how it saved their lives. For those in recovery, it's meant to be used in conjunction with attendance at AA meetings and work with other alcoholics. However, anyone needing information about alcoholism, and certainly those living with alcoholics, will find this book invaluable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I am NOT an Alcoholic...

    ...but I found the principles presented in this book to be timeless and to be universally applicable. Dr. Bob and Bill W. stumbled onto principles of life which has been codified into the "Twelve Steps." There is some question about the historical presentation in this book, but millions of alcoholics (and other habitual 'lics) can testify to the power of the principles and practices this book presents.

    As a clergy person I can identify both the psychological and theological concepts being addressed. I highly recommend this book for all religious and theraputic counseling practitioners, as well as those of us who find some part of our lives spinning out of control.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I all else has failed try this book.

    The review above, is silliness.

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Very Large Part of My Life

    This book is forever within my reach. The stories may be dated but the message will always remain the same.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    AA

    The BIG BOOK is saving lives every day. There is NO religious indoctrination in this book. There is the constant message of HOPE. These are stories of alcoholism by alcoholics.Those who have survived. No program offers quick fixes. This is the book to read over and over again if you want to remain sober.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2005

    Harmful Messages? Nice, that's exactly what a person dying from alcoholism needs to read!

    When this book was first given to me, I was extremely reluctant to read it. I am a recovering alcoholic with close to three years of sobriety and can honestly say, 'This book SAVED my life!' Before getting sober, I read a myriad of books related to the recovery of alcoholism. I desparately sought for anything to alleviate the incomprehensible demoralizing nightmare my life had become. I believe this book was first published in 1935, and while the first 164 pages have not been altered, there have been four editions published reaching millions worldwide. For some this book may seem rudimentary 'relating little to alcoholism, and lots to religious indoctrination and deflation of ego.' This book, written by alcoholics to alcoholics, provides a program of recovery for anyone lost and beaten down by this insidious disease. With an emphasis on the importance of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness, this book has given me the gift to acknowledge that I have been fortunate enough to live a completely new life, one free of not only alcohol but also the pain that ensues due to alcoholic drinking. This book doesn't push religious indoctrination but rather suggests seeking the help of a higher power in order to stay sober one day at a time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2004

    The BIG Book

    This book is very important, not only in AA but Al-Anon too. Mary Pearl has made this very clear. The 'Big Book' is the gateway to experience, strength, and hope. If you haven't heard Mary Pearl T.'s speech 'An Al-Anon's Experience with the Big Book', I suggest that you listen to it too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    It contains a design for living that works for me

    This book contains the principals, that I try to live my life by. It has worked for me and countless others. I am grateful for 5 years of sobriety.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    The Bible of AA

    This is the 'bible' of AA. It's the book handed out at meetings and has helped keep thousands sober.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    Life Saver for those aflicted

    While the front portion of this book was written in 1939, it still applies to my life today. This 4th Edition updated some of the personal stories in the back of the book to better reflect its membership today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted November 8, 2008

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    Posted December 10, 2008

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    Posted April 17, 2010

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    Posted June 26, 2010

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