The Grapevine, Volume 1, No. 1, June 1944
Sale Price: $3.00
The AA Grapevine has evolved over the past several decades from a humble newsletter into an international journal publication of Alcoholics Anonymous that is intended to be a “meeting in print” and the “voice” of the AA fellowship. The Grapevine aims to represent the experience, strength, and hope of its members, reflecting a broad geographical swath and range of experience by age, race/ethnicity, belief, and socio-economic status.
Volume 1, No. 1 is a republished facsimile of the inaugural issue of the Grapevine, started in 1944, by six alcoholics, sipping Cokes in a smoke-filled room in New York City.
This issue features a headline article, Two Yale Savants Stress Alcoholism As a True Disease, which describes a clinic, started by the Lab of Applied Physiology at Yale University, in cooperation with the Connecticut Prison Association, to promote the idea that alcoholism is a disease, which was not a widely accepted idea at the time. Among its stated purposes, the clinic sought to develop resources that could be utilized to rehabilitate alcoholics, promote interest and confidence in Alcoholics Anonymous, and provide examinations to address the alcoholic’s physical ailments that had been neglected during the progression of their diseases.
It also features a poignant editorial, The Shape of Things to Come, penned by Bill W., on the future of AA, in which he reflects on the expansion of Alcoholics Anonymous over five years, from “little clusters of twos and threes” to “hundreds of centers shedding their warm illumination upon the lives of thousands.”
Also notable is a brief paragraph about the reopening of High Watch Farm in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut, the first recovery center for alcoholics based on the principles of AA.
The Co-Founders of AA, Dr. Bob & Bill W
Facsimiles of Special Grapevine Editions: Dr. Bob, January 1951 and Bill W., March 1971
This is a set of republished facsimile Grapevine editions, honoring Dr. Bob and Bill W., the co-founders of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, upon their deaths.
The Bill W. Issue features profiles of the people who helped and inspired Bill and Bob to get sober, create the fellowship of AA, and help others, including:
- Ebby Thacher, Bill W.’s childhood friend and drinking buddy, a severe alcoholic and chronic relapser, who helped Bill W. get sober
- Dr. William D. Silkworth, aka Silky, whom Bill liked to call “the benign little doctor who loved drunks”, who educated him about the symptoms and progression of the alcoholic disease, and counseled him to help alcoholics understand the physical consequences of alcoholism
- Dr. Sam Shoemaker, an Episcopal clergyman, whom Bill W. credits for passing on “…the spiritual keys by which we were liberated.”
- Sister Ignatia, Dr. Bob’s long-time partner at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, a sympathetic nun who is said to have inspired the 12th Step
- Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, the first psychiatrist to champion AA and sought to advance its acceptance among the medical community
- Father Edward Dowling, a Jesuit priest, who was a close friend and spiritual adviser to Bill W., who was not an alcoholic, but used the 12 steps to overcome his problems with overeating and smoking
The Dr. Bob issue contains a brief but touching biography of Robert Holbrook Smith, a colorectal surgeon, whose alcoholism landed him in hospitals and sanitariums more than a dozen times prior to sobriety. The author describes Dr. Bob’s journey from a “squirrel cage existence… Staying sober to earn enough money to get drunk… Getting drunk to go to sleep… Using sedatives to quiet the jitters… Staying sober to earn money… Getting drunk…” to finding purpose and a will to live in sobriety by helping other alcoholics get and stay sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book – 75th Anniversary Edition
This is a hardcover facsimile of the First Edition of the AA Big Book, complete with the 29 original personal stories, originally published in April 1939. This special edition features red hardcover binding with gold lettering, the retro looking “circus” book jacket cover, and is printed on thick paper.
Our Great Responsibility – A Selection of Bill W.’s Conference Talks 1951-1970
Sale Price: $12.00
This book, published in 2019, is comprised of sixteen addresses by Bill W. at AA’s annual General Service Conferences, in which he muses on the origins of AA, the concepts of the group conscience and trusted servant, AA in the era of change, the constructive use of trouble, and the four principles of AA service, among other topics.