Its Beginnings, and the Writing Of
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
M. "insisted that the book should express Christian doctrines
and use Biblical terms and expressions." Bill's opinion was
now wavering back and forth.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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."
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!"
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."
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."
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.
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.
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."
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:
James Gang," taken from the General Epistle of James in the
Bible, on which some of the recovery program was based.
Empty Glass," "The Dry Life," or "The Dry Way".
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
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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:
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."
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.
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..."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
remained another detail. How were they going to pay the Cornwall
Press the money necessary to print their book?