Basic Literature

Literature available at the Cincinnati Central Service Office
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (generally known as The Big Book because of the thickness of the paper used in the first edition) is a 1939 basic text, describing how to recover from alcoholism, primarily written by one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. It is the originator of the seminal “twelve-step method” widely used to treat alcoholism, strongly emphasizing the spiritual and social aspects of recovery.

It is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold 30 million copies. In 2011, Time magazine placed the book on its list of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923, the beginning of the magazine. In 2012, the Library of Congress designated it as one of 88 “Books that Shaped America.”

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 58

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is a 1953 book, which explains the twenty-four basic principles or Alcoholics Anonymous and their application. and contains a detailed interpretation of principles for personal recovery and group survival. Bill W began work on this project in early 1952. By 1957, 50,000 copies were in circulation.

Who cares to admin complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admin that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 21

Daily Reflections

Daily meditations, one for each day of the year, on subjects related to alcoholism, sobriety, and spirituality.

The old line says, “Suit up and show up,” That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not. Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part of that meeting, for then I can do what I say I’ll do at meetings. I can talk with newcomers, and I can share my experience; that’s what credibility, honesty, and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to normal living.

Daily Reflections, December 28
Box 459

A quarterly news bulletin from the U.S./Canada General Service Office. This newsletter includes information about A.A. service, literature, events, sharing from groups, service committees and individual U.S./Canada A.A. members.

WE ARE GRATEFUL for so many things. For the opportunity of sharing at every level — from carrying the message to a new guy or gal who has written to ask for help, to providing information about AA to a Broadcasting Station in the West Indies, to passing on our accumulated group experience as embodied in our Twelve Traditions to groups and members in every part of the world…

Volume 4, November, 1959