Alcoholics Anonymous & History of AA

 Last updated:
March 10, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous History
Dick B.'s Early A.A. Resources

We are setting up this new feature as an experiment. Many email, write, and phone asking how they can gain access to the materials early AAs used in the pioneer meetings and how they can see the Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth. On the web, there are many routes such as search engines, bookstores, and historical sites; but the following will start you on your way to some wonderful spiritual tools the early AAs used in addition to their Bibles. It will also list some of the classic early A.A. publicity items you can click to.

Early A.A. resources that the pioneers used in their daily devotionals or reading (just a few for starters):

The Upper Room (Methodist quarterly used daily)

The Greatest Thing in the World (by Henry Drummond--a study of 1 Corinthians 13, an A.A. basic)

My Utmost for His Highest (by Oswald Chambers, read by the Wilsons and the Smiths)

The Practice of the Presence of God (by Brother Lawrence)

The Imitation of Christ (by Thomas a Kempis)

Confessions of St. Augustine

In His Steps by Charles Sheldon (a long-time favorite. See 1 Peter 2:21)

As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen
(used as devotional by pioneers; and see Proverbs 23;7)

Learn to do this for yourself by looking up the books in the Dick B. title, The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th Edition. It is the most complete spiritual bibliography about A.A. ever written. Find the book you want to see and go to your search engine or to, etc. 

Early A.A. articles:

Morris Markey, "Alcoholics and God," Liberty, September, 1939

Elrick B. Davis' articles from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1939

Jack Alexander, "Alcoholics Anonymous," Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941

The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox. He was not a member of the Oxford Group and his writings were favored by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. See Jesus' sermon in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Dr. Bob and Bill both said that the Sermon on the Mount contained the underlying philosophy of A.A. Below is excerpt from The Big Book Bunch:

Soon you will be able to see all these items for yourself when the Dick B. collections are housed in a facility which is free, accessible, open to all, and where they can be seen, read, studied, and copied. You will not have to travel for ten years and obtain letters of introduction, pay fees, and run up phone bills trying to find the items and then to get into the archives or libraries or sites. Nor will you have to wear gloves, use pencils, and have to be satisfied with writing down materials instead of using your computer, a scanner, or a copy machine!


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

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