By Mitchell K. © 1991, 1997
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Index of Chapter 4

Chapter 4:   THE BOOK 4.2 - Publication
4.1 - Its Beginnings and Writing Of 4.3 - The Break From the Oxford Group

Chapter 4.1
Its Beginnings, and the Writing Of

  Bill found a printer who had been highly recommended to him. He and Hank went to Cornwall, New York, in Orange County, to see Edward Blackwell. Blackwell was the President of Cornwall Press. The company was, according to Bill, "one of the largest printers in the United States."

While at Cornwall, Bill and Hank found the book would probably be about four hundred pages when finished, and would cost about thirty-five cents per copy to print. It was to have a retail selling price of three dollars and fifty cents, and a wholesale price of two dollars and fifty cents. Hank pointed out that the balance would be all profit. The two left Cornwall secure in the knowledge that they would be reaping millions of dollars.

Hank's outline and included a chart which showed the estimated profits that would be realized from projected sales, respectively, of 100,000, 500,000 and even on 1,000,000 books. The Prospectus talks about 15,000 to 500,000 copies. (See page 126)

The Trustees were strenuously objecting to the plan and stipulated that they would only tolerate the plan when and if royalties were paid to the Foundation. Bill readily agreed to this stipulation. He knew he would own at least one-third of the shares and, according to his agreement with the Foundation, would thus receive one-third of any profits. He surmised the profits from his 200 expected shares would be much greater than what could be received from any other payment.

The Trustees then reluctantly agreed to tolerate and accept the royalties, knowing that it would probably happen even without their consent. They felt that by agreeing, they would have some sort of hold on Bill and Hank and retain some checks and balances.

There remained only two more minor details to be worked out. The first concerned the fact that there was no publishing company incorporated. The second was that, without incorporation, they could not sell stock and without stock, there would be no capital to move onward.

Hank immediately solved these problems. None of the previously suggested names were eventually used. Someone came up with "WORKS PUBLISHING". There are at least three explanations as to the origin of the name that they chose. The first is that one of the favorite Bible quotes in early A.A. was from the Book of James. It was "Faith Without Works Is Dead." The second is that this first book was to be the first of many "works" by the new publishing company. The third is that when the members of the group were questioned as to why this "cure" had worked when all others had failed, they simply replied - "It Works." In any event, the name "Works Publishing Company" was adopted.

According to "official" AA history books Hank went to a local stationery store and purchased a pad of blank stock certificates. He had Ruth Hock type across the top of each certificate - "WORKS PUBLISHING COMPANY, par value $25.00." At the bottom of each certificate was typed, Henry G. P., President.

When Bill saw these certificates and read them, he was, to say the least, not to enthusiastic about Hank's being President of the company. Especially when Bill himself wanted the honor. He was also quite annoyed at the obvious irregularity of Hank's doing all of this on his own, without consulting either Bill or the Trustees. According to Clarence, Bill was probably more concerned with his own feelings rather than with any irregularities or with the consultation of the Trustees. Hank finally convinced Bill that there was no time to waste and persuaded him, "why be concerned with the small details?"

There was one minor detail they had somehow managed to overlook. It turned out to be not so minor. That detail was that, despite all of their combined super sales efforts, they were unable to sell even one of the six hundred shares of Works Publishing, Inc. stock.

Not to be discouraged, Hank convinced Bill that they should go up to the offices of the READERS DIGEST in Pleasantville, New York to try and sell that magazine on the idea of printing a piece about the alcoholic society and about the forthcoming book. He and Bill believed that if READERS DIGEST could be convinced and indeed did print an article, the ensuing publicity would sell the book by "the car loads" and that this surge in sales would really convince "those tightwad drunks," as Hank described them.

Bill and Hank secured an appointment and went to Pleasantville to meet with Kenneth Payne, managing editor of the READERS DIGEST. They outlined their intentions for the book, for publicity, and for the new society. They dropped the names of Mr. Rockefeller and of the others who were Trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation.

Payne was interested. He assured them the DIGEST would print such a piece when the book was ready for publication. He then told them he would, however, have to meet with and get the approval of other editors and of the staff before he could finalize any agreement with them.

Armed with this new possibility for favorable publicity from a national publication, Bill and Hank hurried back to New York City and began, once again, to sell their stock idea. Many of the once reluctant members began to sign up.

Many couldn't afford the full twenty-five dollars. So shares were sold on the installment plan: Five dollars a month for five months. The Trustees pitched in as well. They were caught up in the new enthusiasm as were other friends of the movement.

Ruth then sent off copies of what she had typed to Doc in Akron. Bill also brought these copies to the weekly meetings of alcoholics who by that time were meeting in Bill's home. These same alcoholics had been asked to leave the Oxford Group meeting at Calvary Church in Manhattan.

Clarence remembered that they would "red pencil, blue pencil and any other kind of pencil" these drafts out in Ohio and then send the suggested corrections back to "Bill and the boys in New York." On the whole, the Ohio crowd approved of what was being written. Most of the drafts stressed the "spiritual side" of the teachings and principles of recovery. And Ohio had always held to the spiritual foundations of the program. This spiritual philosophy is still very much in evidence at many Cleveland meetings today.

A.A.'s new histories record that the New York "rummies", on the other hand, really tried to rip the book apart. They gave Bill a hard time with what he had written. The New Yorkers did not at all agree with the Ohio suggestions, continued to try to downplay the spiritual, and attempted to stress the "psychological and medical aspect of the illness."

In Irving Harris's book about the Reverend Samuel Shoemaker [Irving Harris, THE BREEZE OF THE SPIRIT: SAM SHOEMAKER AND THE STORY OF FAITH-AT-WORK (Seabury Press, 1978)], the pastor of Calvary Church and the "leader" of the Oxford Group movement in New York City, the ideology of the medical and psychological aspect was inspired by Dr. Silkworth. Harris says in that book, Silkworth told Bill:

You're preaching at these fellows Bill, although no one ever preached at you. Turn your strategy around. Remember, Professor James insisted in that, `deflation at great depth' is the foundation of most spiritual experiences like your own. Give your new contacts the medical business - and hard. Describe the obsession that condemns men to drink and the physical sensibility or allergy of the body that makes this type go mad or die if they keep on drinking.

He referred to William James's book, The Varieties of Religious Experience: a Study in Human Nature [Macmillan Publishing Company, 1961], taken from a series of lectures by James on "Natural Religion Delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902."

Bill Wilson often stated that he had been an agnostic. And the New York group were stressing the medical and psychological aspects of recovery rather than the spiritual. But Bill did have his own private opinions in these matters. Thus he later wrote to an A.A. member in Richmond, Virginia in a letter dated October 30, 1940, "I am always glad to say privately that some of the Oxford Group presentation and emphasis upon the Christian message saved my life." This same "Christian message" showed in the success that Ohio members were having. The more secular medical and psychological message resulted in greater failure and relapse into drinking within the New York membership.

After writing the first four chapters which were sent back and forth from Akron to New York, they realized it was time to write about how the actual "program of recovery from alcoholism" really worked. There was enough background and "window dressing" in the earlier chapters, they felt. They needed at that point to get to a description of an actual "program of recovery." Something that had eluded them thus far in their writings.

The book had been going slow, what with all the re-writes. Several of the subscribers, people who had purchased stocks were discouraged by the lack of progress and began to slack off in their payments. The New Yorkers wanted to see more tangible results. They wanted the book to be finished and their investment realized.

Bill was of near exhaustion due to the constant bickering and controversy. He stated that, "On many a day I felt like throwing the book out the window." But the book had to be finished if all of his dreams were to come true.

One of the legends as to how the Twelve Steps of recovery were written is as follows: Bill was lying on his bed at Clinton Street one evening. He was exhausted, discouraged and at wits end. He had a pencil in his hand and a legal pad on his lap. Nothing was coming to mind. He had reached a total impasse. He prayed for guidance, as had been the Oxford Group custom. Then, with pencil in hand, he began to write. He put down on paper what he felt were the basic principles which comprised the procedures that at the time were being utilized. Bill felt that the alcoholics would find certain "loopholes" within his summary of original six "steps" the alcoholic squadron of the Oxford Group had been using. He wanted to make sure that there was nothing that a "rummy" could slip through and use as an excuse.

When he finally put his pencil down, there were Twelve Steps. Bill felt he had found the perfect formula. He had relied upon God's guidance. He also felt secure in the knowledge that just as Jesus had Twelve Apostles who went forth to carry the Gospel (or Truth), this new, as yet unnamed fellowship, had Twelve Steps to help alcoholics recover and go forth to carry their "Truth." This truth was RECOVERY. Recovery for the alcoholic who still suffered.

Bill no longer felt dejected. He felt renewed. Even when, in that same evening he was visited by two "rummies," who objected to the steps as Bill had written them. They loudly complained about the frequent use of the word "God" and of having to get on one's knees in the Seventh Step. Bill did not care. The Steps were to stand as they were.

But then Bill showed the Twelve Steps to the members of the New York contingent. Strong fights and heated discussions ensued. Some suggested "throwing the whole thing out." Some felt that there wasn't enough God mentioned. The latter, however, were in the minority in New York.

Fitz M. "insisted that the book should express Christian doctrines and use Biblical terms and expressions." Bill's opinion was now wavering back and forth.

Hank P., an agnostic like Bill, had realized God played an important part in his own recovery from alcohol but wanted to use a "soft sell on this God stuff." But he did insist, "Not too much."

The person most vocally and most vehemently opposed to any sort of mention of God in any way was Jimmy B. Jimmy was a strident atheist. He wanted any and all references to God removed. Not only from the Steps, but also from all of the earlier chapters of the Big Book. And he was insisting that God would not be mentioned in any of the later chapters as well. According to Clarence, "Jimmy remained steadfast, throughout his life, and `preached' his particular brand of A.A. wherever he went. New York, Pennsylvania and later, California."

However, though Jimmy never believed in God, he did later recognize that others did and that they too could be successful with their recovery by doing so. In a letter to Clarence and Dorothy Snyder, written soon after the SATURDAY EVENING POST article came out in March of 1941, Jimmy said he had just moved to Landsdowne, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. He had "moved down on a new job two weeks ago," he said. And as soon as he had moved there, he started an A.A. group and began to carry his message of recovery. "Last week we had three at the meeting, and this week we have seven alkies. Several of them have been sober for a number of months on a spiritual basis and I do feel we have a swell nucleus started and they all want to go to work." In 1947, Jimmy wrote a privately mimeographed history of Alcoholics Anonymous entitled, THE EVOLUTION OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. This "history," though it contains inaccuracies, was the first historical piece that had been written about A.A.

Jimmy and his other atheist compatriots, along with the agnostic Hank, swayed the majority to their side. Bill had to give in. But not fully. Bill agreed to certain changes. He called them "concessions to those of no or little faith." These "concessions" consisted of including the phrase "as we understood Him" in the Third Step. Another was the eventual removal of the phrase "on our knees" from the Seventh Step. "On our knees" was in the pre-publication "multilith", or manuscript copy, of the Big Book which was sent out to early members and prospective purchasers of the book. But when the first printing of the Big Book came out, "on our knees" had been removed.

There were many other changes made to "tone down" the wording of the book. (Compare the original section of Chapter Five, "HOW IT WORKS," with the prepublication multilith copy in appendix B and The Evolution of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous).

The Ohio membership was opposed to any changes in the drafts of the book. They had achieved great success using the original message. Their numbers were growing; and the members who were staying sober, were staying sober with little or no cases of relapse into active alcoholism.

Two years after the publication of the book, Clarence made a survey of all of the members in Cleveland. He concluded that, by keeping most of the "old program," including the Four Absolutes and the Bible, ninety-three percent of those surveyed had maintained uninterrupted sobriety. Clarence opined that even with New York's "moral psychology" approach to recovery "had nowhere near our recovery rate."

He stated, in later years, "They (New York) keep making all of these changes, watering this thing down so much that one day it will be so watered down that it will just flush down the drain."

He also said, when he was asked why he was so outspoken in his stance for maintaining his program of recovery exactly as it was handed down to him by his sponsor, Dr. Bob, "If you don't stand for something in this life, you're liable to fall for anything!"

Hank P. once told Clarence that it was he, Hank, not Bill, who wrote the Chapter, "To The Employers." Hank told Clarence he "got no credit for it, not one damn mention from Bill." Reportedly Bill wrote the Chapter "To Wives." It is said Bill had once offered to have Anne Smith, Doc's wife, to write the chapter, but Anne didn't want to do so. Clarence said she knew that Bill had not made the same offer to his own wife and Anne did not want to hurt Lois's feelings. Lois had been angered by the offer to Anne and was deeply hurt. Lois once said she had held a resentment over that for many years after the book had come out. She later wrote a small four page pamphlet entitled "ONE WIFE'S STORY' which described her life with Bill. She stated, "Groups of the families of A.A.'s have sprung up all over the country with a three-fold purpose. First to give cooperation and understanding to the A.A. at home. Second, to live by the Twelve Steps ourselves in order to grow spiritually along with our A.A.. Third, to welcome and give comfort to the families of new A.A.'s."

This pamphlet was produced before the name Al-Anon was in existence. Lois inscribed to the author on his copy of the pamphlet, "This was one of the very early pamphlets." When Al-Anon finally did arrive, Lois, one of the Co-Founders of Al-Anon, learned to "detach with love" regarding to her long-standing resentment toward Bill over the chapter, "To Wives."

While the "Program" portion of the book was being written, the New York and Akron members were submitting their personal stories of recovery. In New York, Bill and Hank edited the stories submitted by the New York contingent. Many of them objected to how their stories were being totally changed by this editing. In the Archives of the Stepping Stones Foundation. in Bedford Hills, New York, there are several of these handwritten and edited stories which were submitted for the book.

In Akron, Jim S., who was an Akron newspaper reporter and early member, interviewed and helped write and edit all of the stories that came from the Akron area and eventually, all the New York stories a s well. Much of this writing took place around the kitchen table in Dr. Bob's home.

Jim S. was one of the men who had visited with Clarence in Akron City Hospital and had told Clarence his own recovery from alcoholism. Clarence had been asked by Doc to submit his story and, as he went over it with Jim, explained to Jim that he was having problems with his wife. Clarence and Jim tried to slant Clarence's story to appease Dorothy and, by doing so, brought the two closer together. Both Jim and Doc did not like this way of appeasing Dorothy and they admonished Clarence for his impure motives. Despite this, Clarence's "slanted" story was published "as is."

The Big Book was almost ready for publication. But there was one little problem. The book did not as yet have a name. Nor did this new fellowship of nameless drunks. Everyone was asked to submit names for the book. More than one hundred titles were actually considered. The following were some:

1) "The James Gang," taken from the General Epistle of James in the Bible, on which some of the recovery program was based.

2) "The Empty Glass," "The Dry Life," or "The Dry Way".

3) "The Way Out," the latter was abandoned after an extensive search was conducted in the Library of Congress which showed that there were already twelve other "The Way Out" books in publication. The members decided that it would be too unlucky to be number thirteen. Bill had even proposed calling the book and naming the fellowship, "The B.W. Movement," naming it after himself. This particular title did not meet with much approval from the Akron group who were fiercely loyal to Dr. Bob. About that story it says in AA Comes of Age pg 165

"I began to forget that this was everybody's book and that I had been mostly the umpire of the discussions that had created it. In one dark moment I even considered calling the book 'The B. W. Movement.' I whispered these ideas to a few friends and promptly got slapped down. Then I saw the temptation for what it was, a shameless piece of egotism."

Another popular title that was proposed was "One Hundred Men." This was popular due to the fact it showed the obvious success of the movement and also that one hundred was a nice round figure. Actually there were - at that point - only some forty sober members, between Akron and New York, with the vast majority being in Ohio. However forty men didn't seem as persuasive as one hundred.

As to the number "100", the meetings then were open not only to the alcoholics, but also to their families as well. The wives and the one or two husbands of the women members, were added to the number forty and amounted it to around a hundred people who were attending meetings.

There was one hitch to this title. The hitch came from one of the women members. Florence R., who was the only woman member in New York, objected strenuously. Her Story was submitted and printed in the pre-publication multilith edition and she did not want to be "one of the boys." In the multilith edition, her story was printed with a typographical error. The title was "A Femine Victory." The error was corrected in the First Edition, and the title of the story became "A Feminine Victory" in all sixteen printings of the First Edition.

Florence, unfortunately, did not maintain her sobriety on a constant basis; and it was reported that she had committed suicide in Washington, D.C. during an alcoholic depression. Her story was taken out when the Second Edition was printed in 1955.

In deference to Florence, they agreed that the title should not be "One Hundred Men". They did, however, continue to describe the book, on its title page, as "The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered From Alcoholism." This angered Florence very much. By the time the second printing of the First Edition came out in March 1941, the title page had been changed to Thousands of Men and Women."

The origin of the actual Big Book name, Alcoholics Anonymous, will probably forever remain unknown. Some have said it came from someone's describing the movement as a bunch of "anonymous alcoholics" who meet for their recovery; others said, "We were nameless drunks at a meeting." The most accepted version is that of a writer from NEW YORKER Magazine by the name of Joe W., who apparently coined the phrase. But Joe remained sober only periodically and, according to Clarence, never really "got the program."

The name Alcoholics Anonymous was definitely in use however by the late summer of 1938. At that point, the name was mainly used in connection with the title of the book and, only to a smaller extent, as the name of the fledgling fellowship. Meetings, both in New York and in Akron, were not as yet being called Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They were still, in actuality, Oxford Group meetings. The Akron groups were still officially Oxford Group meetings; and the New Yorkers who, Clarence felt, had been asked to leave the Oxford Group meetings earlier, still had no other name for their gatherings. As Clarence once stated, the New York contingent had been asked to leave the Oxford Group because the "drunks and pickpockets" were no longer welcomed. This, he stated, was due to the large number of members who showed up drunk at meetings and from those members who picked the pockets of the well-to-do Oxford Group members who were also in attendance.

By the end of January 1939, the Big Book manuscript was ready for publication. Not all of the stories were completed or submitted as yet. However, twenty-one of them were finished. Four hundred copies were multilithed - an early form of mimeographing - and were spiral bound. They were packed to be shipped from Newark, New Jersey, the location of the office on William Street.

There was one other error which may or may not have been typographical. It even appeared on the title page. The book was called "ALCOHOLIC'S ANONYMOUS" with an apostrophe in the word, Alcoholic's. It is not found on all copies.

Several copies were sent out to members, doctors, clergy and other friends of the movement for their comments, criticism and evaluation. The balance of the copies were sold to people who had ordered the book before its final printing. There was no notice of copyright nor notice of the multilith beeing a review or loan copy. Since the multilith ed manuscript was published, sold and distributed to the public without these notices, according to the Copyright Act of 1909, it and all subsequent printings were forever in the public domain.

These original manuscripts are very rare today; and less than 50 are probably still in existence. Many are in deteriorated condition. Photostatted copies are available to interested parties at the Archives at the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York City for $12.

The multilithed, pre-publication copy contained the original "explanatory" chapters, including the chapter entitled "The Doctor's Opinion", which was written by Dr. Silkworth of Towns Hospital in New York City. Dr. Silkworth did not have his name printed in the book until the Second Edition, which came out in 1955.

This multilithed manuscript contained twenty-one personal stories. Eight were those of New York members - seven men and one woman. Thirteen stories were those of Akron members or people who were attending the meetings in Akron. Twelve of those stories were written by men; and one was submitted by a couple. "MY WIFE AND I." It was written by Maybell and Tom L.

One of the stories was written by a man who lived in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. At the time the book was being written, he was living with Dr. Bob and Anne Smith. He had been sent down to Akron by the Michigan Oxford Group for help because there were "no drunks" in the Michigan group at that time. This man was Archibald "Arch" T. He later returned to Michigan and started A.A. in Detroit. Archie's story was printed in the First Edition as "THE FEARFUL ONE" and was changed to "THE MAN WHO MASTERED FEAR" in the Second and Third Editions.

Another story, by a man who was attending the Akron meetings, was the "HOME BREWMEISTER." This man was Clarence H. Snyder; and his story appears in all three editions of the A.A.'s Big Book.

Of these twenty-one stories in the Manuscript edition, all save one made the first printing of the First Edition. The one was "ACE FULL-SEVEN-ELEVEN." Its writer was a member of the Akron group, whose name Clarence did not remember and of whose name the A.A. Archives in New York have no record. This member did not like the changes that were being made in the book. He also, as Clarence remembered, did not trust Bill Wilson. He felt Bill "was making money on the deal."

Clarence stated this man also did not like the promotion angle that was being presented. The man asked that his story be removed from the final printing. It therefore never appeared in the First Edition copy. His was the only story that talked about the addiction of Pathological (compulsive) Gambling, as well as that of alcoholism. His story ended with the line "His will must be my bet- there's no other way!" Clarence remembered that this man never returned either to gambling or to drinking. A.A. Archives does not release the names of any of the writers of the stories in the A.A.'s Big Book, and all of the names mentioned in this book were made available to the author by Clarence Snyder.

When the Big Book was ready for its final publication date, ten new stories were added. Four came from New York members, four from Akron and one from Cleveland. The Cleveland story was "THE ROLLING STONE" by Lloyd T. Lloyd got sober in February 1937 and stayed with the Oxford Group in Akron when the Cleveland group broke off. However, he too eventually came into A.A. and stayed sober.

There was one story that was supposed to have been written by a man from California. This story, "THE LONE ENDEAVOR," was written by a man named Pat C. According to the story printed in the book, he had gotten a copy of the multilith and got sober through it alone, without any personal contact. He then wrote to the Newark office, and they answered him, asking for permission to print his letter in the book. Permission was granted by return mail.

In Jim B.'s EVOLUTION OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Jim B. related this story and added, "Our New York groups were so impressed by his recovery that we passed the hat and sent for him to come East as an example. This he did, but when the boys met him at the bus station the delusion faded, for he arrived stone drunk and as far as I knew, never came out of it." Other sources have it, that he came out and stayed out after this event.

There was one Al-Anon type story that was included in the ten new ones. Its title was "AN ALCOHOLIC'S WIFE," by Marie B. Marie B. was the wife of Walter B., whose story, "THE BACK SLIDER" also appears in the book.

We call this an Al-Anon story, probably the first on record, because Mary B. herself was not an alcoholic. In her story she wrote, "Since giving my husband's problem to God, I have found a peace and happiness. I knew that when I try to take care of the problems of my husband I am a stumbling block as my husband has to take his problems to God the same as I do."

Meetings in the early days were somewhat different from those held today. There were really no "closed" meetings. That is, meetings open only those with, or those who think that they have a problem with alcohol. Meetings in the early days were open to alcoholics and their families.

Henrietta D. (wife of Bill D., whose story "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS NUMBER THREE" appears in the Second and Third edition of the Big Book) wrote a letter describing her early experiences at the meetings in Ohio. In it, she also described her first meeting with Anne Smith on Friday, June 28, 1935. The letter reads:

On Friday night, when I went to the house on Ardmore Avenue, I met the most thoughtful, understanding person I have ever known. After talking with her for a while, I addressed her as Mrs. Smith; and she said, "Anne to you my dear." She wanted to remove all barriers. She wanted God to have full credit for this wonderful thing that had happened to her. Bill W. was there at this time. After they talked with me for awhile, Anne asked if I would like to "go all the way with God," I told her I would. She, Anne, said we should kneel, which we all did, and told me to surrender myself to God and ask Him if he had a plan for me to reveal it to me... She taught me to surrender my husband to God and not to try to tell him how to stay sober, as I tried that and failed. Anne taught me to love everyone, she said, "Ask yourself, what is wrong with me today, if I don't love you?" She said, "The love of God is triangular, it must flow God through me, through you and back to God."

The author has wondered if this triangular description could be one of the reasons that the triangle and circle was the symbols and registered trademarks of A.A. A.A.'s had the triangle within the circle, and Al-Anon (still) has the circle within the triangle.

Henrietta D. continued, in her letter to describe what was probably the first Al-Anon meeting in the world. She wrote: "In the early part of 1936, Anne organized a `Woman's Group' for wives of alcoholics, whereby in her loving way, she tried to teach us patience, love and unselfishness. Anne made it very plain to me from the beginning, that she wanted no credit for herself..."

Anne explained to Henrietta that there was only one purpose for the wives and for the alcoholics. It was to "know and follow God's plan." After meeting with Anne, Henrietta described a phenomenon often experienced by others who had met with Dr. Bob. She wrote: "I was completely sold on A.A."

In reviewing Henrietta D.'s account, the author is reminded of Anne Smith's remarks in her Spiritual Workbook:

"1. A general experience of God is the first essential, the beginning. We can't give away what we haven't got. We must have a genuine contact with God in our present experience. Not an experience of the past, but an experience in the present actually genuine.

2. When we have that, witnessing to it is natural, just as we want to share a beautiful sunset. We must be in such close touch with God that the whole sharing is guided. The person with a genuine experience of God with no technique will make fewer mistakes than one with lots of technique, and no sense of God. Under guidance, you are almost a spectator of what is happening. Your sharing is not strained, it is not tense."

Anne was living "witness" to what living these precepts could produce in a person. Early A.A. accounts often record that everyone who came into contact with her could feel the presence of God and the peace and serenity that Anne possessed.

Two stories which appeared in both the multilith and the First Edition where those of Richard "Dick" S. (whose story is "THE CAR SMASHER") and Paul S., (whose story is "TRUTH FREED ME!"). Ironically, Paul and not Dick eventually died as a result of an automobile accident on September 19, 1953. However, both brothers remained completely sober until their respective deaths.

Dick S., whose story, THE CAR SMASHER, was in the First Edition

This ends the review of the writing of the book. All that then remained was to get the finalized and approved version of the book to Cornwall, New York. Hank, Ruth Hock, Dorothy Snyder (Clarence's wife) and Bill went together to a hotel in Cornwall. There they checked and corrected the galleys and got the book printed.

But there remained another detail. How were they going to pay the Cornwall Press the money necessary to print their book?

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