"Must reading for anyone wanting to understand the modern history of alcoholism treatment and recovery in America and the processes that go into changing public opinion and public policies."

This is a remarkably lucid, scholarly and interesting book that chronicles the birth of the federal alcoholism movement and the events that followed. Nancy Olson, herself a witness and active participant in this movement, presents an objective and a well-documented book, where her fairness and passion are clearly evident. It is a must read for those interested in alcoholism during a critical juncture in its history.

Ernest P. Noble, Ph.D, M.D., Director of the UCLA Alcohol Center and
former Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism






Photo from the book: Nancy Olson and Senator Williams

This book is a blockbuster. Olson has a fine sense for storytelling. The research is breathtaking, as is her gift in weaving it all together and engaging the reader with dramatic insider eyewitness accounts. Harold Hughes would be proud of what she's done.

Sally and David R. Brown, authors of The Biography of
Mrs. Marty Mann: The First Lady of Alcoholics Anonymous

With a Lot of Help from Our Friends is the engaging story of how a grassroots movement of recovering people and their families and allies changed the way America views alcoholism and the alcoholic and created a national network of local alcoholism prevention and treatment programs. While passage of the Hughes Act has long been lauded as the ignition point of the modern alcoholism treatment movement, little has been known about the details of this achievement until now. This book is must reading for anyone wanting to understand the modern history of alcoholism treatment and recovery in America and the processes that go into changing public opinion and public policies.

William L. White, author of Slaying the Dragon: The History
of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America


"Those interested in the history of A.A. will get their money's worth."

Olson is a superb historian in the classic mold. Those interested in the history of A.A. will get their money's worth. They will see Mrs. Marty Mann in action, hear Bill Wilson's historic congressional testimony. They will hear Senator Harold Hughes tell of his descent into alcoholism and his redemption, and a host of other real-life A.A. stories about people of all sorts and types, some famous and some obscure, but all brought vividly alive and made unforgettable by the author's story-telling skill. This true tale of Washington politics manages to come out inspiring and uplifting instead of merely cynical and despairing.

Glenn F. Chesnut, Professor of History, Indiana University, author of The
Higher Power of the Twelve-Step Program: For Believers & Non-Believers






Photo from the book: Nancy Olson and Senator Harold Hughes

What are you interested in? History? Politics? Civics? Personalities? Alcoholism? You can find them all here. If we do not learn from the past, we will make mistakes in the future. Ms. Olson's laborious collection of historical data has provided us with valuable insights that can guide us in the future.

Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D., founder and medical director of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center
in Pittsburgh, and author of the best-selling Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception

Nancy Olson has written a clear account of the political struggle to accept alcoholism as a disease and to provide treatment to those affected and their families. It is the story of a historic twelfth step on the entire country.

Joseph Zuska, M.D. founder of the Navy's first alcoholism treatment center at
Long Beach, California, later made famous by Betty Ford, wife of President Ford


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