Bill W. & Mr. Wilson

Bill W. & Mr. Wilson

by Matthew J. Raphael

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Overview

Bill W. & Mr. Wilson by Matthew J. Raphael

William Griffith Wilson, recently cited by Time magazine as one of the hundred most influential individuals of the twentieth century, is better known to many as Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. In Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, Matthew J. Raphael, himself a member of A.A. (and writing here under a pseudonym, in accord with AA's tradition of anonymity), presents a revealing new look at both the legendary Bill W. and the private Mr. Wilson, who tried to live apart from his own celebrity.

In quest of a more historically accurate and complete account, Raphael separates fact from fiction in the standard biographies of Wilson and finds reason to doubt the literal truth of some foundational AA stories. He also provides a context for Wilson's (and thus AA's) key ideas in the work of William James, Carl Jung, and other modern thinkers. What emerges is an unvarnished portrait of a charismatic man and social visionary, whose true greatness is all the more apparent in view of his human imperfections.

Readers already familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous will find much to engage them. Others will discover AA and its cofounder from an insider's perspective.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558492455
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 05/26/2000
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Matthew J. Raphael is a well-established writer and a member of AA.

What People are Saying About This

Roger Forseth

This is the best work I have read on Bill Wilson; it is also one the best intro-ductions to A.A.-its origins, development, and significance.
—Roger Forseth, editor of Dionysos: The Literature and Addiction Tri-Quarterly

Deirdre Bair

Raphael not only interprets the 'big' books about the AA movement and its two founders (Dr. Bob as well as Bill W.), he has also read all the recent scholarship on the subject and uses it scrupulously and judiciously in the formulation of his own views. I think Raphael's book will become the starting point for any subsequent scholarship and/or discussion of the subject.

From the Publisher

This exceptionally well-written book on the life of A.A.'s cofounder will deservedly find a wide readership. It is time that the man inside the legend of Bill Wilson was rediscovered. Bill W. and Mr. Wilson achieves that feat.

Roger Forseth

This is the best work I have read on Bill Wilson; it is also one the best introductions to AA — its origins, development, and significance.

Deidre Bair

Raphael not only interprets the 'big' books about the A.A. movement and its two founders (Dr. Bob as well as Bill W.), he has also read all the recent scholarship on the subject and uses it scrupulously and judiciously in the formulation of his own views. I think Raphael's book will become the starting point for any subsequent scholarship and/or discussion of the subject.
—Deidre Bair, author of Anais Nin: A Biography

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