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Lets Ask Bill W.

Question & Answer # 22 | Q&A index

Was the writing of the Big Book a difficult job?

Answer
As the chapters were done, we went to A.A. meetings in New York with the chapters in the rough. It wasn't like chicken-in-the-rough, the boys didn't eat those chapters up at all. I suddenly discovered that I was in a terrific whirlpool of arguments. I was just the umpire. I finally had to stipulate, "Well boys, over here we have the holy rollers who say we need all the good old-fashioned stuff in the book, and over here you tell me we've got to have a psychological book, and that never cure anybody, and they didn't do very much with us in the missions, so I guess you will have to leave me just to be the umpire. I'll scribble out some roughs here and show them to you and let's get the comments in." So we fought, bled and died our way through one chapter after another. We sent copies out to Akron and they were peddled around and there were terrific hassles about what should go in this book and what should not.

Meanwhile, we set drunks up to write their stories or we had newspaper people to write the stories for them to go in the back of the book. We had an idea that we'd have a text and then we'd have stories all about the drunks who were staying sober. (Transcribed from tape, Fort Worth, Tx., 1954)

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