is the third edition of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous."
The first edition appeared in April 1939, and in the following
sixteen years, more than 300,000 copies went into circulation.
The second edition, published in 1955, reached a total
of more than 1,150,000 copies.
this book has become the basic text for our Society and
has helped large numbers of alcoholic men and women to
recovery, there exists a sentiment against any radical
changes being made in it. Therefore, the first portion
of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program,
has been left untouched in the course of revisions made
for both the second and the third editions. The section
called "The Doctor's Opinion" has been kept intact, just
as it was originally written in 1939 by the late Dr. William
D. Silkworth, our Society's great medical benefactor.
second edition added the appendices, the Twelve Traditions,
and the directions for getting in touch with A.A. But
the chief change was in the section of personal stories,
which was expanded to reflect the Fellowship's growth.
"Bill's Story," "Doctor Bob's Nightmare," and one other
personal history from the first edtion were retained intact;
three were edited and one of these was retitled; new versions
of two stories were written, with new titles; thirty completely
new stories were added; and the story section was
into three parts, under the same headings that are used
this third edtion, Part I ("Pioneers of A.A.") stands
unchanged. Nine of the stories in Part II ("They Stopped
in Time") are carried over from the second edtion; eight
new stories have been added. In Part III ("They Lost Nearly
All"), eight stories have been retained; five are new.
changes made over the years in the Big Book (A.A. members'
fond nickname for this volume) Have had the same purpose:
to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous
more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics.
If you have a drinking problem, we hope that you may pause
in reading one of the forty-four personal stories and
think: "Yes, that happened to me"; or, most important,
"Yes, I believe this program can work for, me, too."