This is the Foreword as it
appeared in the first printing of the first edition in 1939.
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 we have recovered is the main
purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so
convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We
think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better
understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the
alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our
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 may 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 understood that our alcoholic work is an avocation.
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
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 or 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
We shall be interested to hear
from those who are getting results from this book, particularly
form those who have commenced work with other alcoholics. We
should like to be helpful to such cases. Inquiry by scientific,
medical, and religious societies will be welcomed.
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