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Big Book Study Group
P.O. Box 31
Washingtonville, NY 10992-0031

You will find the First Edition,
book manuscripts and foreign language translations at
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THIS IS the second edition of the book, "Alcoholics
Anonymous," which made its first appearance in
April, 1939. More than 300,000 copies of the first
edition are now in circulation.
Because this book has become the basic text for our
society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic
men and women to recovery, there exists a sentiment
against any radical changes being made in it. There-
fore the first portion of this volume, describing the
A.A. recovery program,has been left largely un-
But the personal history section has been consider-
ably revised and enlarged in order to present a more
accurate representation of our membership as it is
today. When the book was first printed, we had
scarcely 100 members all told, and every one of them
was an almost hopeless case of alcoholism. This has
changed. A.A. now helps alcoholics in all stages of
the disease. It reaches into every level of life and
into nearly all occupations. Our membership now
includes many young people. Women, who were at
first very reluctant to approach A.A., have come for-
ward in large numbers.Therefore the range of the
story section has been broadened so that every alco-
holic reader may find a reflection of him or herself
in it.
As a souvenir of our past, the original Foreword has

xii                                 PREFACE
been preserved and is followed by a second one de-
scribing Alcoholics Anonymous of 1955.
Following the Forewords, there appears a section
called "The Doctor's Opinion." This also has been
kept intact, just as it was originally written in 1939 by
the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, our society's great
medical benefactor. Besides Dr. Silkworth's original
statement, there have been added, in the Appendices,
a number of the medical and religious endorsements
which have come to us in recent years.
On the last pages of this second edition will be
found the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anony-mous,
the principles upon which our A.A. Groups
function, together with directions for getting in touch
with A.A.
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