The cover of the fourth edition says this is the basic text, a message of recovery. This book is a textbook and is written to convey the experiences of the first one hundred to the reader. A textbook conveys information from the mind of the author to the reader. This book tells us what they learned and did so we could get the same result as the author. It is the story of how more than one hundred men and women have recovered from alcoholism. On the inside flap it states “Many could recover if they had the opportunity we have enjoyed. How then shall we present that which has been given to us so freely given us ?” On p 19 they authors state we have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. They bring to this task our combined experience and knowledge. They suggest this book as a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.
The forward to the first edition appeared in 1939. It says we of Alcoholics Anonymous are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book!! Therefore this book is their experience. They want you the reader to have the same experience by following exactly what they did. The authors of the big book don’t ask if you like the book. They don’t tell you what to do except if you have the same hopeless condition of mind and body they have a way out on which they all agreed and suggest it as your program of recovery. It is important for new people to understand that the authors are saying to the reader if your life is unmanageable and you cannot stop drinking follow the directions laid out in this book and see what is the result.
In the chapter to the agnostic they describe the dilemma as they see it. Lack of power that was their dilemma. They had to find a power by which they could live, and it had to be a power greater than themselves. Where and how do we find this power? They tell that reader that is exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable the reader to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.
I will go through in subsequent thoughts how the book is laid out and tells us the problem and the solution. I will look at the table of contents in next thought. Let me hear from you mhurwitz50@gmail. com appreciate if you would share this site with your AA friends.