Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous

Draft Manuscript (1938) / First Edition (1939) / Second Edition (1955) / Third Edition (1976) / Fourth Edition (2001)

Page ii (1938), Page xiii (1939, 1955, 1976, 2001)


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  • Changes to the Forward made to the First and subsequent editions are provided in Footnotes.

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW THEY CAN RECOVER1 is the main purpose of this book. For them, we think2 these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We hope3 this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not yet4 comprehend that he is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our new way of living has its advantages for all.

It is important that we remain anonymous because we are too few, at present, to handle the overwhelming number of personal appeals which will5 result from this publication. Being mostly business or professional folk we could not well carry on our occupations in such an event. We would like it clearly understood that our alcoholic work is an avocation only, so that6 when writing or speaking publicly about alcoholism, we urge each of our Fellowship to omit his personal name, designating himself instead as "A Member of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Very earnestly we ask the press also, to observe this request, for otherwise we shall be greatly handicapped.

We are not an organization in the conventional sense of the word. There are no fees nor dues whatsoever. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. We are not allied with any particular faith, sect or denomination, nor do we oppose anyone. We simply wish to be helpful to those who are afflicted.

We shall be interested to hear from those who are getting results from this book, particularly from those who have commenced work with other alcoholics. We shall try to contact such cases.7

Inquiry by scientific, medical and religious societies will be welcomed.

(This multilith volume will be sent upon receipt of $3.50, and the printed book will be mailed, at no additional cost, as soon as published.)8

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS


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  1. Changed to precisely how we have recovered in the First and subsequent editions. 

  2. Change to we hope in the First and subsequent editions. 

  3. Changed to we think in the First and subsequent editions. 

  4. yet removed from the First and subsequent editions. 

  5. will changed to may in the First and subsequent editions. 

  6. so that removed from the First and subsequent editions. 

  7. We shall try to contact such cases. changed to We should like to be helpful to such cases. in the First and subsequent editions. 

  8. The parenthetical sentence was removed from the First and subsequent editions.