Last updated:
December 05, 2015

Alcoholics Anonymous History
A Major A.A. Spiritual Source

By Dick B.

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Dr. Bob and His Library
A Major A.A. Spiritual Source

Dr. Bob and His Library: A Major Spiritual Source - Dr. BobThis is the third edition of an important book about one of early A.A.'s pioneers who played a crucial role in its spiritual history and unique successes.

Over the past eleven years, the author has put together seventeen titles which tell the story of where A.A. came from and why it worked so well in the pioneer days. A.A. spiritual ideas came from the Bible, both directly and indirectly. The new perspective in this revised edition is how its spiritual ideas really began in the youth of its co-founder, Dr. Robert H. Smith. Here, the author explores Christian Endeavor, a world-wide Christian movement which was embraced by Dr. Bob in his youth. There is a study of the Congregational, Episcopal, and Presbyterian Churches to which he belonged. In the backdrop, of course, are the Christian and other religious books he studied so assiduously. Dr. Bob, as AAs call him, read a wide variety of spiritual books throughout his life. They certainly included the Bible as the main focus. They included Bible devotionals, books by the Rev. Sam Shoemaker of New York, books by Oxford Group writers, and many other books by Christian writers of the 1920's and 1930's. The literature, recommended and circulated by Dr. Bob among early AAs and their families, represents a major A.A. spiritual source. This title tells the reader what those books were and, in many cases, adds a brief description of their content.

If you are looking for a reliable guide for recovery from alcoholism and addictions, and particularly if you belong to a Twelve Step program, this book will tell you the literature that A.A.'s most successful sponsor (who personally helped more than 5,000 people recover) used to learn about, and grow in, the one real "spirituality"--reliance upon God Almighty, the Creator.

Contents of Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed.

      Foreword to First Edition
      Foreword to the Third Edition

The Story of Dr. Bob’s Reading
Sources of Information about His Books
The Books Dr. Bob Owned, Read, and Recommended
                 The Bible
                  Books about the Bible
                  Christian Classics
                  The Life of Jesus Christ
                  Daily Bible Devotionals
                  The Sermon on the Mount
                  The Oxford Group
                  Dr. Samuel M. Shoemaker
                  Two of A.A.’s Other “Founders”
                             Professor William James
                             Dr. Carl Jung
                  Authors of Special Interest to Dr. Bob
                  Religion and the Mind
                  Quiet Time
                  The Weatherhead Puzzle
                  The Calvary Evangel List of Oxford Group Literature

What’s New?
                  New Materials in the Revised Edition
                  The Search Goes On

Dr. Bob’s Biblical Sources Emerge
                   Direct Biblical Quotations
                   Recognizable Biblical Ideas
                   A.A. Slogans Adopted from Biblical Ideas
                   The Point of the Quest for Sources

Some Final Thoughts
                   About Dr. Bob’s Library
                   About the Good Book, A.A., and His Library
                   About the Source of A.A. Ideas
                   About Dr. Bob’s Own Path
                   About Reliance upon God
      Appendix 1: Dr. Bob’s Biblical and Christian Background
      Appendix 2: Inventory of Books on Hand at Calvary House, 9/12/33


"We must express exerlasting gratitude to you, Dick, for the accurate and significant contribution that Dr. Bob's Library makes. The essence and memory of Dr. Bob is truly preserved by your splendid endeavor."

Bob ("Smitty") and Betty S. (Dr. Bob's son and his wife)
Bob Smith is co-author of Children of the Healer

"I have read Dr. Bob's Library—Dick's first book on A.A.'s Good Book Connection. It is great and ... accurately tells the story of the contributions from the Bible that my father, Dr. Bob, made. It is long overdue."

Sue Smith Windows (Dr. Bob's daughter)
Sue Smith Windows is co-author of Children of the Healer

"We can be grateful to Dick B. for his diligent work, which makes available to us not a mere listing of books, but a sense of how they were read and a summary of what they contain. Dick's careful and thorough research, the details of which he generously shares with us, brings his own spirituality to bear on the task of understanding the spirituality of Akronites among the first generation of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Ernest Kurtz, Ph.D.
From the Forward of the First Edition
Author, Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Paradise Research Publications, Inc.; 156 pp.; 6 x 9; perfect bound; 1998; $22.95; ISBN 1-885803-25-7


Dick B.'s son Ken
P.O. Box 837
Kihei, Hawaii
Tel.: (808) 276-4945
Fax: (808) 874-4876

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Trademarks and Disclaimer: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS®, A.A.®, and Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Dick B.'s web site, Paradise Research Publications, Inc., and Good Book Publishing Company are neither endorsed nor approved by nor associated or affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.