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Aa Big Book First Edition Reprinted

All nineteen books will be a part of a single lot and will also include an exceedingly rare 1940 Bill Wilson stock certificate used to raise funds to continue to print copies of the groundbreaking Big Book. The stock certificate is one of only two known in private hands. Bill Wilson was of course the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and wrote the Big Book that serves as the bible to millions worldwide.

aa big book first edition reprinted

My Recovery Store presents the AA Big Book 1st Edition reprint in Hardcover form. This is the one put out by Alcoholics Anonymous to celebrate 75 years. It's done exactly like the original. It'a big and heavy book that fits into our book covers. You have your choice of 3 colors.

The Central Office is closed on the observance days of New Years, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Phones remain open. In severe weather, phones remain open, please call first for store.

What we found was much more than we had originally intended, and indeed far more than we squeezed into our ten-minute introductory talk. As all things related to alcohol generally tend to do, the research quickly led us to E. M. Jellinek. He invited Bill W. to speak at the very first session of the Summer School, held at Yale in 1943. Mark Keller reminisced about these humble beginnings when he spoke on behalf of Bill W. at the 1972 Summer School ceremony in which Bill W. was posthumously granted the Jellinek Memorial Award, the first time it was given to a non-scientist:

At the end of the session, the attendees gathered around us to get a glimpse (and feel) of the original Big Book we had displayed alongside the closely related The book that started it all: The original working manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous, published by Hazelden in 2010.

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism (Nicknamed The Big Book because of the thickness of the paper used in the first edition) is a 1939 basic text, describing how to successfully[1] recover from alcoholism. Written by William G. "Bill W." Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and many of the first 100 members of the group, the composition process was collaborative, with drafts of the book being sent back and forth between Bill W.'s group in New York and Dr. Bob, the other A.A. founder, in Akron, Ohio. It is the predecessor of the seminal "twelve-step method" widely used to treat many addictions, from alcoholism, heroin addiction and marijuana addiction to overeating, sex addiction and gambling addiction, with a strong spiritual and social emphasis.It is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold 30 million copies.[2][3] In 2011, Time magazine placed the book on its list of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923, the year in which the magazine was first published.[4] In 2012, the Library of Congress designated it as one of 88 "Books that Shaped America."[5]

U.S. President Richard Nixon received the millionth copy of the book,[12] The 25-millionth copy of the Big Book was presented to Jill Brown, the warden of San Quentin State Prison, at the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Toronto, Ontario to commemorate the first prison meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous taking place at San Quentin in 1941.[13] The 30-millionth copy of the book was presented to the American Medical Association in 2010, which declared alcoholism an illness in 1956.[14]

The book[15] consists of over 400 pages. Bill's Story and Dr. Bob's Nightmare and the personal experiences of some alcoholics are detailed as well as the series of solutions which evolved to become the twelve-step program. How to use the twelve steps is explained using examples and anecdotes. Some chapters target a specific audience. One chapter is devoted to agnostics, and another is named "To Wives" (most of the first AA members were men), and still another is for employers. The second part of the book (whose content varies from edition to edition) is a collection of personal stories, in which alcoholics tell their stories of addiction and recovery.

The main goal of the book is to make it possible for the reader to find a power greater than himself to solve his problem. The writers indicate that an alcoholic "of our type" can under no circumstances become a moderate drinker: only abstinence and the understanding of the community of alcoholics can lead to recovery. By way of anecdotal evidence, the example is provided of a man who, after 25 years sobriety, began to drink moderately and within two months landed in hospital. The reasoning is that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

The book contends that it is impossible for an alcoholic to quit drinking by oneself. A new attitude or set of values also would not help. Whosoever is an alcoholic must admit that they cannot help themselves alone. Only a "higher power" and the community can help. An example of a man named Fred is given, who had no control over his drinking, but finally leads an "infinitely more satisfying life" than before thanks to the previously unexplained principles of AA. In the introduction to the Big Book, William Duncan Silkworth, M.D., a specialist in the treatment of alcoholism, endorses the AA program after treating Bill W, the founder of AA, and other apparently hopeless alcoholics who then regained their health by joining the AA fellowship. "For most cases," Silkworth claimed, "there is no other solution" than a spiritual solution. Today "many doctors and psychiatrists" confirm the effects of AA.[16]

When the second version of The Big Book was released in 1955, reviewers once again gave their opinions, with reception still mostly positive. One reviewer stated that the pages of the book were American legend and would "remain there, through the full history of man's pursuit of maturity."[24] This was the case with the release of the third edition in 1976 as well. The journal Employee Assistance Quarterly in 1985 asked three professionals in the field of addictive behaviors to review the book, with each reviewer asked to answer the following questions:[25]

Before the publication of The Big Book, alcoholism in America was viewed largely as it had been in the 19th century.[23] The temperance movements of the 19th century and the recent experiment with Prohibition focused on the individual, promoted by "degenerationism, the theory that biological factors, toxic environmental influences or moral vices may trigger a cascade of social, moral and medical problems". This theory was a holdover from the pre-Darwinian belief that offspring inherited acquired character traits from their parents, although this is now well evidenced in the scientific literature. The increase in scientific knowledge in the early 20th century led to questions about this view of alcoholics, but the view still dominated for the first 30 years of the century. A decisive turn toward seeing alcoholism as a disease was the publication of The Big Book and the founding of A.A.[23]

Authorised reproduction of the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous. This edition is a faithful replica of the original, with the famous 'circus cover' dust jacket and bulky paper (which is why it was initially called the Big Book), and is published in the original English-language text only.

If a book is extremely popular, it will have a lot of printings and you might have to look more closely to find the print run number. See my hardcover copy of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which I purchased well after the release date:

Although I do not attend AA meetings in person, I still make use of and work the Twelve Steps. I enjoy reading Twelve Step literature every day, whether it be favorite passages from the Big Book or from a few daily meditations and reflections books. I also really enjoy participating in online recovery on In the Rooms. My recovery program is hardly traditional, being primarily focused on Catholic spirituality and supplemented by Twelve Step literature and online recovery. But I still have a deep interest in AA, its future and such like.

Second, it seems that every time a new edition is released, there is pressure to alter the first 164 pages. Through the 4th edition, AA has resisted the urge to alter them. Hard core traditionalists defend the efficacy of these chapters, and since Bill W. wrote them, they are untouchable. Others insist that they are archaic, sexist or outdated and have served their purpose. They need to be updated to maintain relevancy with people now entering AA.

I did manage to stay clean and sober for fairly long periods without working a twelve-step program. Besides sex and love addiction, I kept getting into very toxic and dysfunctional relationships whenever I was back in the UK. Mentally and emotionally I was getting worse, not better. This was my experience even whilst abstaining from alcohol and drugs. Despite going to meetings every day, I was getting progressively worse. I found myself in a very dark place, a long time after arriving at my first meeting.

I am not a representative of AA and I do not speak on behalf of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am just an agnostic member of AA who believes in the program of recovery. At times, I express my personal opinions about issues that have directly affected my journey. However, in keeping with the 10th tradition of AA, the opinions I express in the book do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or positions held by AA as a whole. Quotations from Alcoholics Anonymous are from the first edition (1939) which is now in the public domain. Any quotations from sources other than the first edition of the Big Book are reprinted with permission.

The book they published in 1939 sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and describes the stories of men and women who have overcome the addiction. Today it is the most widely used resource for millions of individuals in recovery and the organization has more than 2 million members. The first edition went through 16 printings before the publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976, and a more recent fourth edition in 2001. The essential recovery text has remained the same while personal stories have been added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship with the fourth edition featuring 24 new personal stories of recovery.


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