The AA Big Book has several stories of those in recovery. An important aspect to accepting one’s own addiction is personal identification with others who talk or write about his/her recovery. The AA Big Book Online reprints these stores from the Big Book.
Part 1: Pioneers of AA begins with the story of Dr. Bob, one of the cofounders of AA. This group of 10 stories shows that sobriety in AA can be lasting.
Dr. Bob and the nine men and women who here tell their stories were among the early members of A.A.’s first groups.
All ten have now passed away of natural causes, having maintained complete sobriety.
Today, hundreds of additional A.A. members can be found who have had no relapse for more than thirty years.
All of these, then, are the pioneers of A.A. They bear witness that release from alcoholism can really be permanent
Doctor Bob’s Nightmare
A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935.PDF
(1) Alcoholic Anonymous Number Three
Pioneer member of Akron’s Group No. 1, the first A.A. group in the world. He kept the faith; therefore, he and countless others found a new life. PDF
(2) Gratitude in Action
The story of Dave B., one of the founders of A.A. in Canada in 1944.PDF
(3) Women Suffer Too
Despite great opportunities, alcohol nearly ended her life. An early member, she spread the word among women in our pioneering period.PDF
(4) Our Southern Friend
Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?” PDF
(5) The Vicious Cycle
How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. in Philadelphia. PDF
(6) Jim’s Story
This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people. PDF
(7) The Man Who Mastered Fear
He spent eighteen years running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit. PDF
(8) He Sold Himself Short
But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had in himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago. PDF
(9) The Keys of the Kingdom
This worldly lady helped to develop A.A. in Chicago and thus passed her keys to many. PDF
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