Bill W.: A Different Kind of Hero - The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous

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An inspiring account of an extraordinary life. There are heroes of politics, religion, war, and history. There are heroes of sport, science, and legend. Bill Wilson was an entirely different kind of hero. After years of unhappiness and hospitalizations for alcoholism, he hit bottom. Although not a religious man, he called out to God in desperation. In response, he experienced a tremendous inner vision. Instantly, he was a changed man. In 1935, he co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous and created the Twelve Steps and ...

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Overview

An inspiring account of an extraordinary life. There are heroes of politics, religion, war, and history. There are heroes of sport, science, and legend. Bill Wilson was an entirely different kind of hero. After years of unhappiness and hospitalizations for alcoholism, he hit bottom. Although not a religious man, he called out to God in desperation. In response, he experienced a tremendous inner vision. Instantly, he was a changed man. In 1935, he co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous and created the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that would serve as the foundation of AA's program for recovery from this widespread addiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
White, in his first book for children, ably distills events in the life of Bill Wilson (1895-1971) to demonstrate how and why he would go on to found Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill went through his adolescence without ever touching a drink "because of what he knew about the drinking problems of his father and his grandfather Wilson." But at age 20, as a commissioned second lieutenant in the army in 1917, he was offered a Bronx cocktail and "drank to excess" from the get-go. The author lays the groundwork for the drive and obsession with success that would lead to Bill's indefatigable efforts to launch AA. Bill's first obsessive "power drive" occurred when he was but nine years old, just after his father disappeared and Bill's family moved in with his maternal grandparents: Bill's grandfather challenged that "nobody but native Australians could make a boomerang that worked," and after six months of whittling, young Bill emerged with a successful boomerang. The same perseverance won him the spot as captain of the high school baseball team, first violin in the orchestra and senior class president. Yet he could not conquer his drinking problem alone. White smoothly weaves in the principles of AA (spelled out in detail in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions at the volume's close) as he charts Wilson's road to recovery. While this will be of greatest interest to readers who have had some exposure to alcoholism through their families, anyone interested in AA will find many answers here. A thoughtful, well-researched resource that profiles an accidental hero. Ages 10-14. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-An interesting introduction to one of the founders of AA who also helped to build the organization into a worldwide movement. The book starts with a dedication to readers, and may encourage those dealing with their own struggles. Insights into Wilson's feelings and thoughts are based on extensive research at the Stepping Stones Foundation, archives at AA Headquarters, Wilson House, and interviews with Bill's secretary and many AA members. White chronicles his subject's life from his birth in 1895 through his longtime marriage to Lois Burnham, the cofounder of Al-Anon, to his death in 1971. The author portrays him as a sometimes troubled man who made many mistakes but who was able to rise above his defects and serve others. The volume is illustrated with black-and-white photos. Two lists, "The Twelve Steps-" and "The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous," are included. This well-researched biography conveys Bill W.'s energy and strength.-Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590780671
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom White is a journalist who was born in New York State and grew up in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Harvard and a World War II Navy veteran. He lives in Odessa, Texas.

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