Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous

by Ernest Kurtz


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A fascinating, account of the discovery and program of Alcoholics Anonymous, Not God contains anecdotes and excerpts from the diaries, correspondence, and occasional memoirs of AA's early figures.

The most complete history of A.A. ever written. Not God contains anecdotes and excerpts from the diaries, correspondence, and occasional memoirs of A.A.'s early figures. A fascinating, fast-moving, and authoritative account of the discovery and development of the program and fellowship that we know today as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780894860652
Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
Publication date: 04/28/1991
Edition description: REV
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 108,072
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ernie Kurtz received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 1978. His doctoral dissertation was published as the book Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Since then, he has published The Spirituality of Imperfection, and the booklet Shame and Guilt: Characteristics of the Dependency Cycle. He has also published a number of articles, both scholarly and popular, on topics related to his interests and has lectured nationally and internationally on subjects related to the academic study of spirituality. Some of his articles have been published in the 1999 book, The Collected Ernie Kurtz. Dr. Kurtz taught American History and the History of Religion in America at the University of Georgia and Loyola University of Chicago. From 1978 to 1997, he served on the faculty of the Rutgers University Summer School of Alcohol Studies and from 1987 to 1997 as a lecturer at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. After a brief stint as Director of Research and Education at Guest House, then an alcoholism treatment facility for Catholic clergy, Ernie retired to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and began taking classes in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He continued to travel widely offering presentations until late 1997, when a botched medical procedure led to spinal surgery that only partially restored his ability to stand and walk. Noting that "it is ironic that I now walk like a drunk," Ernie devoted his remaining time to the intricacies and possibilities of electronic research in this field. Ernie passed away January 2015.

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Not God 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Tainted_Saint More than 1 year ago
Most reliable reference available by a professional historian on Alcoholics Anonymous. A history of what the Dalai Lama noted as the most important social movement of the 20th century would be daunting even if it were not necessary to respect the anonymity of it's participants. Kurtz's exceptional credentials, remarkable perseverance, patience and insight, make this text an outstanding contribution to historical research. The only objective writer, not affiliated with AA, ever to be granted such unlimited access to the full confidential archives of the organization. Part One of Not God: A history of Alcoholics Anonymous is in fact, the history of AA. In Part Two Kurtz places this social movement in the context of American history and the context of religious ideas so readers may come to terms with the paradoxes. We can explore the meaning and significance of the mystery of AA in the last two-thirds of the 20th century - how such a simple, altruistic, (but non-religious) social movement results in extensive personal transformations for almost all who seek it. "Not God" is published with over 85 pages of notes referencing original source materials from an extensive list of letters, memorandum, diaries, and articles rich with quotes, stories and the wit of of AA's earliest members and enthusiasts. There is an extensive bibliography and index which will keep AA history lovers busy with material for several lifetimes. A thorough, even definitive, eminently readable history. And for true AA members, for those to whom the organization or it's lack thereof really means something... there is an Appendix in this book that should not be overlooked. It warns of the only thing that could destroy a social movement with the purity of purpose and intention of A.A..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not-God? what does that mean? Half of getting sober is to believe in a power greater than ourself and the other half is to admit that alcohol is more powerful than yourself. But together alcohol can't harm us,as long as we don't take that first drink and go to meetings (speak to another alcoholic). I just don't like the Title not the message. I feel that it might not reach and help people that won't pick up the Big Book and also won't pick up this book, because it says "Not-God". So please read this book and the Big Book and forget the title. God is Good. My name is Elizabeth and I am a alcoholic.........
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, covering the founding and growth of the AA movement by a non-member. Truly an amazing piece of work and deserving of a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the recovery movement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago