The New “Anniversary Edition” of A.A.’s First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
I just received and answered an email from a long-time Christian AA who told me he had just received copies of A.A. General Service Conference-approved Anniversary Edition of the Big Book First Edition.
After all these years, I believe readers need to understand what has come about in restoring to “official” view the stories of the A.A. pioneers whose personal stories are in the 1939 Big Book. I also believe, and point out, in the exchange of letters set forth below, the tools that will make the new edition of real importance and value to its readers.
The Correspondence (with full name removed for anonymity purposes)
My reply to the letter below “Dear J,. . . Thanks for the heads up on the new book. Our whole research on old school A.A. certainly includes the personal stories of the pioneers. It was they who were NOT writing about Bill’s Twelve Step program. Bill’s 1939 Big Book chapters had not yet been completed as far as Bill’s chapters are concerned. The pioneers were writing primarily about how they practiced the Akron program set forth on page 131 of DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. There is much more, and it will be covered in the video series and guidebook we have just about completed. May I suggest that those who want a full understanding of what the First Edition was all about need these following three additional tools:
1. The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks (Pamphlet P-53). It will show you where the old school A.A. really began – 4 years before the Big Book was published.
2. Our new book Dick B. and Ken B. Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed. It will open your eyes to the pioneer stories’ real message.
3. Alcoholics Anonymous; The Big Book The Original 1939 Edition Bill W. With a New Introduction By Dick B. (Dover Publications, Inc.). This edition may well have prompted the long overdue publication of the First Edition by A.A. itself. But my introduction to the Dover Publications edition is 27 pages and explains what the problem is.
Thanks again for writing, and don’t hesitate to give me a phone call if you wish to discuss all this further.
Richard G. Burns, J.D., CDAAC
Author and A.A. historian, retired attorney, Bible student (pen name “Dick B.”)
46 published titles & over 1,450 articles on A.A. history and the Christian Recovery Movement
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide
Christian Recovery Radio
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
Letter to Dick B. Received Today From: J. . . .
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 8:28 AM
Subject: RE: Dick B. FYI Message: The Recovery Resources That Need a Boost in Recovery Content
Hello Dick I just got my copies of the 75th Anniversary of the Big Book first edition copy in the mail I am looking forward to reading the stories to see how much they enlighten me about the roots of early AA, the book looks great, it has thick pages and same look as the original first edition, did you order a bunch of copies to give away, from J. . . .canada