My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

by Susan Cheever
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Overview

My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous by Susan Cheever

The definitive biography of Bill Wilson, the man who established Alcoholics Anonymous, and the first to be written with access to documents in that organization's archives, by a noted author who is herself a recovering alcoholic.

In this definitive and groundbreaking biography, acclaimed author Susan Cheever offers a remarkably human portrait of a man whose life and work both influenced and saved the lives of millions of people. Drawing from personal letters, diaries, AA archives, interviews—and Cheever's own experiences with alcoholism—My Name Is Bill is the first fully documented, deeply felt account of Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743201544
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/11/2004
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Susan Cheever is the bestselling author of thirteen previous books, including five novels and the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark. Her work has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Boston Globe Winship Medal. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Corporation of Yaddo, and a member of the Author's Guild Council. She teaches in the Bennington College M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with her family.

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My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bonarues More than 1 year ago
fantastic. a terrific treatise on bill. i found only two errors describing life in the program. also, i am eternally grateful to the authors contribution of a new way to describe the spiritual experience, "a surrender of the rational mind." s;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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OBS47 More than 1 year ago
Offering a fascinating look at Bill Wilson, one of Time Magazine's 100 List of The Most Important People of the 20th Century, My Name is Bill is a must read for anyone attempting to understand the broader context of Alcoholics Anonymous. Susan Cheever does a marvelous job of capturing the essence of what made this man a pioneer in treating alcoholism and, long after his death, other forms of addiction. A larger than life figure, Wilson almost singlehandedly changed the prognosis for those suffering from alcoholism. But he was certainly no saint, and Cheever's portrayal is nicely balanced. We learn a great deal about what drove this uncommon individual and even a bit about some of his other struggles. Wilson's 'Twelve Steps' approach is comparable to Dr. Albert Ellis's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a vehicle for assisting those struggling with personal demons find relief. Many (including this reader) believe Wilson's early recognition that this age-old problem requires a spiritual solution was divinely inspired. Bill's insights into the disease of alcoholism based on his own experience stirred in him an uncanny prescience. He predicted that many alcoholics would find deliverance from their debilitating condition if they could only follow a few simple steps. Included among those, and perhaps most crucial, is finding the wherewithal to get through the next 24 hours without a drink. Truly remarkable is how the man known simply as Bill W. transformed what can only be described as a life in precipitous decline - intractable alcoholism, unemployment, financial ruin, and a disintegrating marriage - into a beacon of hope for countless human beings. Ironically, while he struggled with his own implacable inner demons, most notably chronic depression, millions of alcoholics were clawing their way back from the brink of self-destruction. And those are just the ones who were alive during his lifetime! Cheever writes, "Bill Wilson never held himself up as a model: he only hoped to help other people by sharing his own experience, strength and hope. He insisted again and again that he was just an ordinary man." Wilson was anything but an "ordinary man." His elegantly simple prescription for battling one's way back from booze-abetted disaster reflects pure genius. Although Bill was a reluctant model of a recovering alcoholic, his presence still looms large over the many thousands of AA groups that now meet across the globe. It is difficult to imagine many enduring contributions to mankind that exceed that of Bill Wilson's. Truly an epic 20th century figure! Kudos to Susan Cheever for a well-researched, well-written biography. This book should be required reading for anyone who suffers from alcoholism or who seeks a path to spiritual growth. Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Cheever's book about Bill Wilson. This book is more than a tribute to Wilson's contribution to establishing AA. It has recorded the multiple issues that Wilson struggled through to find his personal way in life. I was left thinking that if ever a man needed an ounce of brain rest, it was Bill Wilson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Susan Cheever takes the story of a man who had a significant impact on the treatment of substance abuse - and deals with his life in an objective and fair manner. She paints a portrait of a man who had a lot of challenges - both external and of his own making - which was very refreshing. I learned a lot about the history of AA - including some very fascinating accounts of the early 'disagreements' of the founders in the early years. What I really enjoyed was Susan's insights into Bill's wife, Lois. So much emphasis has been placed on the founding of AA in other books - it was great reading about 'the other half'!!