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The Mitchell K. Library

Early History of Alcoholic Anonymous

The following pages are written and/or created by nationally recognized historian and oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.

Articles by Mitchell K.

Why Study A.A. History?
A look at the roots of the granddaddy of 12-step programs and why it is important to remember them.

In the Beginning...
The study of the history of Alcoholics Anonymous begins way before its actual founding.

A Glimmer of Hope
A historic meeting between Bill W. and Dr. Bob plants the seeds for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Correcting Errors
Why some facts in this series of articles do not match the "official" conference-approved version.

Dr. Bob's Last Drink
Dr. Bob sponsored more than 5,000 AA members and left the legacy of his life as an example.

Early Efforts
Bill W. and Dr. Bob began their quest to carry the message to other "hopeless" alcoholics.

Roots of the Big Book
Most of the ideas and wording in the A.A. book came from other writers.

Writing the Big Book
There are hundreds of quotes from these early books which can be found, almost verbatim in the Big Book.

Financing the Big Book
Bill W. turned to the Rockefellers for help to publish the A.A. book.

Self-Supporting
The idea of Alcoholics Anonymous becoming a self-supporting organization came from a surprising source.

Central Bulletin
It was A.A.'s first newsletter and according to many A.A. Historians, contained some of the best early writing relating to recovery from alcoholism.

"Our Father…"
This 1944 Alcoholics Anonymous editorial gives an indication of how important the founders considered The Lord's Prayer to recovery.

The Saddest Day In A.A. History?
A fight over the printing and distribution of literature in Germany has caused controversy within the fellowship.

A.A. Lawsuit Update
The court date for the German lawsuit over Alcoholics Anonymous literature has been delayed.

The Big Book Goes to Press
After long and heated "discussions" the Alcoholics Anonymous book was finally ready to be published in 1939.

Open Letter to A.A. Members
As the 1998 General Service Conference rapidly approaches we take this opportunity to make an urgent plea for assistance.

The Big Book is Published
The publication of the Big Book did not bring the initial response that was expected by its authors.

Influx of New Members
A 1941 article in a national magazine was expected to attract many new members into Alcoholics Anonymous.

Saturday Evening Post Article
Membership in A.A. skyrocketed after publication of the Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941.

Growth of Central Offices
As the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship began to grow in the 1940's, the first central offices were created.

The German Court Case
Despite what you may have read or heard about Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. (AAWS) being involved in litigation matters, it is true.

German Court Orders A.A. Books Destroyed
There is good news, and there is bad news from three cases involving Alcoholics Anonymous in Germany, from a witness in the case.

Big Book Site Shut Down
A.A. attorney's threats force AOL in Germany to shut down the Big Book Study Group's web site and email address.

Web pages & other works by Mitchell K.

The following web pages by Mitchell K. have been re-created with Mitchell's permission in order to preserve them so you can still enjoy viewing & exploring his pages that you may learn more of Alcoholics Anonymous history.

Mitchell K's Favorite Alcoholics Anonymous History Links and Other A.A. Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous: A photographic journey through its history...

"Freely have ye received, freely give..."

Recover Or Die

How It Worked "The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and The Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, Ohio" -The book written by Mitchell K.

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