Today, almost everywhere you turn, celebrity misadventures with alcohol and drug use, overdoses, and relapses are splashed across the headlines. Popular starlets are "doing time" in rehab for theft and misconduct. Yesterday's heroes congregate before the camera for a Twelve Step meeting or a therapy session. Although this spate of media attention has raised awareness of the dangers of drinking and drugging, what does it mean for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and similar Twelve Step programs that were founded on such traditions as anonymity and noninvolvement in public controversy?
For more than sixty years, Twelve Step groups have relied on the wisdom of their "Twelve Traditions." In this book, AA historian Mel B. shows their importance to the movement's success, drawing on resources including speeches by AA cofounder Bill W. and other leaders. Popular speaker and archivist Michael Fitzpatrick examines the Traditions' relevance today-for recovering people's ongoing sobriety and for the future of the Fellowship. Together, the authors explore which aspects of the Traditions hold strong and which have been overlooked or have even evolved since their adoption in 1950. In the end, they find strength and hope in a radical organizational model and culture born from a lasting concept: principles over personalities.