Bill W. A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson (literature as a tool)

Carole and I read this book together in the morning on days that I went to work.  We read just for a few minutes, so it takes us a long time to get through a book.  I chose this book because I truly enjoy learning more about AA, and I enjoy history.  Books like this can make me just a little bit nervous, because I don’t want anyone to get turned off of AA and also because I don’t want to learn things I’d rather not know.

I have to say that the author is a Bill W fan, and so am I.

Most of it is familiar territory.  The book covers a bit of Bill W’s family history before he was, and continues until his death with a few anecdotes about after his death.  Although the tone is very positive toward Bill, it does include negative things like his infidelities, his love of niacin and his inability to quit the thing that ultimately killed him, smoking.

What was new to me or more in-depth to me than I’d gone or understood before is the way Bill W stepped down from the head of AA and created a structure that has stood the test of time until today.  It’s amazing, but it’s dry stuff, and I needed every ounce of it to happen in order for AA to be there when I needed it.

One of the last paragraphs says ” . . . we can hardly imagine what the world would be like without him . . . ”  I can’t be anything but a fan because without him, I wouldn’t be.  I’m afraid my objectivity gets swamped every time by my gratitude.  And for that, I am grateful.

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