(Aka Bill W. and William Griffith Wilson)
of Alcoholics Anonymous)
[November 26, 1895 - January 24, 1971]
It's more than a book. It's a way of life. Alcoholics Anonymous -- or the
Big Book -- has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First
published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of
recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have
overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the
third edition in 1976, and now the fourth edition in 2001, the essential
recovery text has remained unchanged while personal stories have been
added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship. The long-awaited
fourth edition features 24 new personal stories of recovery. Key features
and benefits ·the most widely used resource for millions of individuals in
recovery ·contains full, original text describing AA program ·updated with
24 new personal stories.
Alcoholics Anonymous (1939, 1955, 1976, 2001)
Bill W.: My First 40 Years (2000)
I was born, to be exact, in a hotel then known as
I was born, perhaps rightly, in a room just back of the old bar.
It was the beginning of a life that would change the lives of millions.
Told here for the first time in his own words is the story of the man who
would come to be known as Bill W. -- a man who, for his part in founding the
fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, would be celebrated as one of the
important figures of the twentieth century.
The terrifying darkness had become complete. In
agony of spirit, I again thought of the cancer of alcoholism which had now
consumed me in mind and spirit, and soon the body. But what of the Great
Physician? For a brief moment, I suppose, the last trace of my obstinacy
was crushed out as the abyss yawned.
I remember saying to myself, "I'll do anything, anything at all. If
there be a Great Physician, I'll call on him." Then, with neither faith
nor hope I cried out, "If there be a God, let him show himself."
The A.A. Service Manual Combined with Twelve Concepts for World Service (1988)
As Bill Sees It: The AA Way of Life (1967)
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age:
A Brief History of AA (1957)
Bill Wilson - Alcoholics Anonymous Speaker CD, Varieties of Religious Experiences
This CD contains Bill W. speaking at the 34th AA
Anniversary in 1968. He talks extensively about the differences between
his spiritual experience, which came suddenly, versus that of Dr. Bob,
which came over the course of many years. Background The CD comes from the
Don B library. Over the past 20 years, Don has collected one of the
largest tape and CD libraries in the Western United States. The purpose of
this library is to restore the original history of the AA program from the
early 1930s through the 1970s. As such, we buy, sell, and trade CD and
Tape collections. This CD has been digitally re-mastered to eliminate as
much noise as possible. We feel it is of the highest quality, and we are
sure you will agree. Whether you are in AA, NA, OAA, SAA, we believe you
will really enjoy hearing one of the founding members of our society talk
about his personal experience, strength, and hope. Mission Our mission is
to provide the public with easy access to the original teachings of the
founders of the AA program. Our primary purpose is the preservation and
recording of the great oral history of AA, and we respect the great
traditions of anonymity that helped AA grow.
Bill Wilson - Speaking at NCAA Spring Conference, San
This CD contains Bill W. speaking at the NCAA
Spring Conference in 1951. He talks about his personal story of recovery
from Alcohol and the early days of AA. This CD comes with a money back
guarantee for sound quality. If you're not 100% satisfied with the quality
of the recording we'll gladly refund your money or send you a new CD. This
production comes from Sonic Serenity in partnership with the Don B
library. Over the past 20 years, Don has collected one of the largest tape
and CD libraries in the Western United States. The purpose of the library
is to restore the original history of the AA program from the early 1930s
through the 1970s. We buy CD and Tape collections and we'll gladly take
any donations. This CD has been digitally re-mastered to eliminate as much
noise as possible. We feel it is of the highest quality, and we are sure
you will agree. Whether you are in AA, NA, OAA, SAA, we believe you will
really enjoy hearing one of the founding members of our society talk about
his personal experience, strength, and hope. Our mission is to provide the
public with easy access to the original teachings of the founders of the
AA program. Our primary purpose is the preservation and recording of the
great oral history of AA, and we respect the great traditions of anonymity
that helped AA grow.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob - Co-founders of AA Recorded at the
Alcoholics Convention in 1950 (1950)
The Lois Wilson Story: When Love Is Not Enough -- The
Authorized Biography of the Cofounder of Al-Anon
(2005) by William Borchert
My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous (2004)
by Susan Cheever (daugher of John Cheever)
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide organization that since
1935 has helped people break free from the destructive influence of
intoxicating and addictive substances. This great wave of comfort and help
that has covered the world had its beginning in one man, born shortly
before the start of the twentieth century. Utilizing exhaustive research,
Cheever traces Bill Wilson's life beginning with his birth in a small town
in Vermont, where, following the breakup of his parents' marriage, he was
raised primarily by his grandparents. Handsome and intelligent, with a wit
and charm that both women and men responded to, he seemed at the outset to
be capable of achieving anything he wanted.
Wilson, however, also suffered from deep-seated insecurity, and once he
was away from the provincial Vermont town, he found that alcohol helped
relieve his self-doubts and brought out the charm and wit that had made
him a favorite in school.
"Help" eventually turned to dependence, and years after his first beer --
consumed at a Newport, Rhode Island, dinner party -- Bill Wilson finally
had to come to terms with the fact that, while he loved the way alcohol
made him feel, his life was spiraling out of control. Through a painful
process of trial and error, using a blend of experiences, ideas, and
medical knowledge gained through several hospitalizations, he was able to
stop drinking. A few months later, when he met Dr. Robert Smith of Akron,
Ohio, and was able to help him stop drinking also, Alcoholics Anonymous
was born. Each man found in the other the support he needed to overcome
the hold alcohol had on them. Together they discovered the power they had
to help other alcoholics.
Success did not come overnight, however, and as Cheever compellingly
relates, Wilson had many struggles in a life fraught with controversies,
including experiments with
LSD and an unconventional fifty-three-year
marriage to also Lois Wilson.
As one of the most influential and important thinkers of the twentieth
century, Bill Wilson changed the way our society deals with addiction, and
his ideas in turn have benefited countless individuals and their families.
His life was complex, and in Susan Cheever's fascinating biography, he
emerges as a man of great passion and courage; it is a story fully told
for the first time.
Bill W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson (2000) by Francis Hartigan
When Bill Wilson, with his friend Dr. Bob Smith,
founded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, his hope was that AA would become a
safe haven for those who suffered from this disease. Thirty years after
his death, AA continues to help millions of alcoholics recover from what
had been commonly regarded as a hopeless addiction. Still, while Wilson
was a visionary for millions, he was no saint. After cofounding Alcoholics
Anonymous, he stayed sober for over thirty-five years, helping countless
thousands rebuild their lives. But at the same time, Wilson suffered form
debilitating bouts of clinical depression, was a womanizer, and
experimented with LSD. Francis Hartigan, the former secretary and
confidant to Wilson's wife, Lois, has
exhaustively researched his subject, writing with a complete insider's
knowledge. Drawing on extensive interviews with
Lois Wilson and scores of early members
of AA, he fully explores Wilson's organizational genius, his devotion to
the cause, and almost martyr-like selflessness. That Wilson, like all of
us, had to struggle with his own personal demons makes this biography all
the more moving and inspirational. Hartigan reveals the story of Wilson's
life to be as humorous, horrific, and powerful as any of the AA vignettes
told daily around the world.
Bill W. and Mr. Wilson: The Legend and Life of A.A.'s Cofounder (2000) by Matthew J. Raphael
William Griffith Wilson, cited by "Time" magazine as one of the hundred
most influential individuals of the twentieth century, is better known as
Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this book, Matthew J.
Raphael, himself a member of A.A. (and writing here under a pseudonym, in
accordance with A.A.'s tradition of anonymity), presents a revealing new
look at both the legendary Bill W. and the private Mr. Wilson, who tried
to live apart from his own celebrity.
Bill W.: The Absorbing and Deeply Moving Life Story of Bill Wilson, Co-founder of
Alcoholics Anonymous (1975, 1999) by Robert Thomsen
This is the story of a man whose discovery and vision have changed the
lives of millions of people throughout the world. Robert Thomsen's
biography takes readers through the events of Bill W.'s life, all the
while detailing Bill's growing dependence on alcohol. Thomsen writes of
the collapse that brought Bill to the verge of death and the luminous
instant of insight that saved him. This turning point led Bill to the
encounter in 1935 with Dr. Bob and the start of what was to be a new
beginning for countless others who despaired of finding rescue and
redemption. Every night at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings around the world,
a speaker says, "Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be
like, what happened, and what we are like now." This describes the story
of Bill W., a stirring spiritual odyssey through the triumph, failure, and
rebirth, with vital meaning for men and women everywhere.
The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters (1995) by
S.J., Robert Fitzgerald
The Soul of Sponsorship explores the relationship of
Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and his spiritual adviser
and friend, Father Ed Dowling. Many might consider that such a remarkable
individual as Bill Wilson, who was the primary author of AA literature,
would be able to deal with many of life's problems on his own. Reading
The Soul of Sponsorship will illuminate and answer the question of how
Father Ed, an Irish Catholic Jesuit priest who was not an alcoholic, was
able to be of such great help to Bill Wilson.
Part of AA's Twelfth Step reminds us "to carry this message to
alcoholics," and The Soul of Sponsorship illustrates how sober alcoholics
still need the principles of the Twelve Steps brought to them by friends,
sponsors, and spiritual advisers. Some of the problems faced by Bill
depression in recovery
whether or not to experiment with LSD
the place of money and power in AA
knowing God's plan and will
learning from mistake
Father Ed taught Bill the importance of "discernment." In
Father Ed's Jesuit tradition, discernment was a gift, passed down to him
from St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, who described his own
struggle with discernment in Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The
Twelve Steps of AA and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius presuppose
that there is a caring God whose will can be known. The act of tuning in
to God's action at one's center is discernment. The big question is, how
do you know your Higher Power is speaking and revealing Himself through
your feelings and desires?
What Bill learned from Father Ed can be found in books and articles he
wrote for AA. For the good of AA and himself, Bill learned to listen to
his desires, be aware of his inner dynamics, and tune into the action of
God within. Doing this meant learning to recognize and identify his
personal movements -- those inner promptings and attractions often called
emotions or affections -- which are part of ordinary human experiences.
The person who helped Bill grow in discernment was Father Ed, the Jesuit
priest with a cane who limped into the New York AA clubhouse one
sleet-filled November night in 1940.
The two "fellow travelers," Father Ed Dowling and Bill Wilson, gave each
other perhaps the greatest gift friends can give: calling on each to know
who he is -- before God.
'Pass It On': The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A. A. Message Reached the World (1984)
Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers (1980)
Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous (1979) by Ernest Kurtz
The most complete history of A.A. ever written.
Not-God contains anecdotes and excerpts from the diaries, correspondence,
and occasional memoirs of A.A.'s early figures. A fascinating,
fast-moving, and authoritative account of the discovery and development of
the program and fellowship that we know today as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1952)
This classic book, used by A.A. members and groups around the world, lays
out the principles by which A.A. members recover and by which the
fellowship functions. The basic text clarifies the Steps which constitute
the A.A. way of life and the Traditions, by which A.A. maintains its
Note: Bill was
the husband of Lois Wilson, founder of Al-Anon.
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