Click here to read the complete book Alcoholics Anonymous online at A.A. World Services
This is the basic textbook of A.A. experience.
A.A. as we know it is the outgrowth of this book, which was originally prepared by a hundred or so alcoholics who had learned to stay sober by helping each other. After a few years of sobriety, they recorded what they had done and gave the account this title. Our Fellowship then began to be called by the name "Alcoholics Anonymous."
In this volume, the original A.A. experience is spelled out by those who did it first, then wrote about it. It is the primary source book of all basic A.A. thought for all of us - whether we read and reread it often or seldom. Most members get a copy as soon after coming to A.A. as they can, so they may take the fundamental A.A. ideas directly from the source, not hear of them second- or third-hand.
Members often refer to "Alcoholics Anonymous" as the "Big Book," but not to compare it with any sacred text. Its first printing (in 1939) was on very thick paper, so it came out surprisingly fat and was laughingly dubbed the Big Book.
The first 11, basic chapters were written by Bill W., co-founder of A.A. It also contains many A.A. member's' own stories, as written by themselves, and several appendixes of additional matter.
Simply reading the book was enough to sober up some people in A.A.'s early days, when there were only a few A.A. groups in the world. It still works that way for some problem drinkers in isolated parts of the world, or for those who live on seagoing vessels.
Regular readers of the book say that repeated readings reveal many deeper meanings that cannot be grasped at the first hurried glance.
Reprinted with permission from Living Sober. This is A.A. General Service Conference approved literature.
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