A.Ăs existence into what is acknowledged to be one of the most important manuals of spiritual discipline created in modern times. It has become a text not only for A.A., but for all the many other Anonymous or ˘Twelve-Step÷ programs that apply A.A.Ăs basic discoveries and techniques to similar problems, such as overeating and anorexia, drug addiction, compulsive gambling, sex and love addictions, and what is now a steadily growing list of social dysfunctions.
The book consists of two parts: the first part is the basic text written by Bill Wilson and critiqued by the ˘first hundred÷ members of A.A.; and the second part is the ˘stories,÷ brief autobiographical essays by A.A. members recounting the experiences of their addiction and their recovery, much like what they would say when speaking live at an A.A. meeting. The first part is considered to be virtually untouchable, editing errors and all; but the stories have been revised, replaced, and supplemented in the later editions of the book, primarily to reflect the experiences of the increasingly diverse membership.
The greatest difficulty that A.A. faces as an approach to treatment of an illness is that it does have a strong religious flavor. This is understandable, since A.A. grew out of Frank BuchmanĂs Oxford Groups, and used the New Testament as its text for its first few years, until the crucial occasion, described at various places in A.A. literature, when the members decided that A.A. wa