Monday, November 29, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous History - Dick B. News Bites

Reading and studying religious literature was a regular and important part of the activities of the original A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron. Books were circulated by Dr. Bob. Books were recommended by his wife Anne Smith. Daily Christian devotionals were used by Bill W., Dr. Bob, Anne Smith, and other pioneers. A number of key Oxford Group books were available at meetings. And later, when the role of Sam Shoemaker in teaching Bill W. the Twelve Step ideas, Shoemaker's books became key indicators of what Bill actually learned from his good friend, the Episcopal Rector--Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. of Calvary Church in New York.

The books, pamphlets, articles, and other writings numbered in the hundreds. And one good bibliographic source is my book "Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Sixteen Year Research Writing, and Dissemination Project"

Here, in brief, are several important books in each category in which AAs read and
discussed the biblical ideas:

Dr. Bob and His Library (

The Bible
The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond
I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, by Glenn Clark
Soul Surgery, by Howard A. Walter
Several studies of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (by Oswald Chambers, Glenn Clark,
Harry Emerson Fosdick, Emmet Fox, and E. Stanley Jones)
Heal the Sick, by James Moore Hickson
The Quiet Time, by S. D. Gordon

Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939 (

Love: The Law of Life, by Toyohiko Kagawa
Twice-Born Men, by Harold Begbie
Children of the Second Birth, by Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.
The Meaning of Prayer, by Harry Emerson Fosdick
The Life of Jesus Christ, by Rev. James Stalker

Daily Bible Devotionals (

The Runner's Bible, by Nora Smith Holm
The Upper Room (Methodist quarterly)
Daily Strength for Daily Needs, by Mary Wilder Tileston
My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers
Victorious Living, by E. Stanley Jones
The Quiet Time, by Howard J. Rose

Key Oxford Group Books (

The Venture of Belief, by Phillip Marshall Brown
The Principles of the Group, by Sherwood Sunderland Day
The Guidance of God, by Eleanor Napier Forde
When Man Listens, by Cecil Rose
For Sinners Only, by A.J. Russell
Why I Believe in the Oxford Group, by Jack C. Winslow

Key Books by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. (

Realizing Religion
Religion That Works
National Awakening
Confident Faith
The Gospel According to You
The Conversion of the Church
"The Way to Find God" (article)

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