I have just written the review below, and it says what needs to be said about the importance of this brand new, unique, complete, paper-back
First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous reprint. I presented and briefly explained the importance today of this work and did so at our Summit Conference # 1 in Costa Mesa, California; our Summit Conference # 2 in Brentwood, California; and our talks at the Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors conference at Palm Springs, California.
This brand new reprinted copy of "Alcoholics Anonymous" is uniquely valuable for several reasons: (1) It is in paperback, quite reasonably priced, complete - and then some! (2) It restores to A.A. eyes the personal stories long removed in large part in later editions. (3) It allows readers to see how, indeed, the Big Book has been changed in later editions. (4) It allows readers to see the real solution in Wilson's Steps--a "spiritual experience"--and not the manufactured "spiritual awakening" and "personality change" sufficient to overcome alcoholism that changed entirely the original purpose of the book - originally called "Their Pathway to a Cure." (5)It contains a substantial introduction which explains how even the First Edition was changed prior to printing; why the personal stories as originally written were a vital evidentiary link substantiating Wilson's claim that there truly was a "Solution," and enables a map-out of the development of early A.A. from the Christian Fellowship of Akron whose program and 16 practices are now known and are remarkably different from the 1939 Big Book Steps and program.
The bottom line for most alcoholics (and I am one who has continuously been active in A.A. from my first day on April 23, 1986 and continuously sober since April 21, 1986) is whether this volume contributes to helping the alcoholic who still suffers. And the answer is "yes."
It returns the reader to an examination of the development of A.A. as an Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship to Wilson's varied six "word of mouth" ideas to the original printer's manuscript with the 12 Steps and to the changes removing God from those Steps. It helps the reader learn the original Akron program and apply it in the present day A.A. scene--Steps and all. It demonstrates how--despite the changes--the ultimate First Edition still contained hundreds of references to God, to His power, and to the experiences in the personal stories which related how God helped them to full recovery.
I consider we are seeing a rebirth of the original A.A. picture. The Hazelden printer's manuscript, this edition with the introduction and original personal stories, and a forthcoming Sponsor's Guide possibly make this the most valuable of the various treatments of the Twelve Step picture. I recommend it highly. In fact, because the last 20 years of research have revealed a much more comprehensive picture of A.A. and the still-available Christian recovery awaiting those who really want God's help