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EP 966B - 11 Years of Research Reveals the Truth About A.A.'s History

Summary: While A.A. remains an effective recovery plan for many who struggle with addiction, its history has been marked by some inaccuracies.
Air Date: 11/12/19
Duration: 23:42
Host: Michael Roizen, MD
Guest Bio: William H. Schaberg
William H. Schaberg is a scholar and rare book dealer based in Fairfield, Connecticut. His interest in the history of ideas led him to amass a large collection of first edition philosophy texts and inspired his first scholarly work, The Nietzsche Canon: A Publication History and Bibliography (University of Chicago Press, 1995).

Schaberg has delivered lectures on Nietzsche, William James, and other philosophers with his mentor King Dykeman at his alma mater, Fairfield University. He has served in the United States Air Force and ran a family printing business for over thirty years before retiring to commit more energy to his book-selling business, Athena Rare Books.

Schaberg’s scholarly investigation into the authorship of Alcoholics Anonymous was an eleven-year project that, like his Nietzsche book, began with bibliographical confusion over the text’s pre-publication history and culminated in an unprecedented chronology of the “Big Book” origins.
  • Book Title: Writing the Big Book: The Creation of A.A.
EP 966B - 11 Years of Research Reveals the Truth About A.A.'s History
Alcoholics Anonymous was a book released in 1939. Since, it has sold an estimated 37 million copies and been translated into 70 languages.

While A.A. remains an effective recovery plan for many who struggle with addiction, its history has been marked by some inaccuracies. 

William H. Schaberg spent 11 years researching the 18 months from October 1937, when a book was first proposed, to April 1939 when Alcoholics Anonymous was published. His account, Writing the Big Book: The Creation of A.A., presents a vivid picture of how early A.A. operated and reveals many previously unreported details about the people who were responsible for making that group so successful.

Schaberg joins Dr. Roizen to share his research and provide insight into A.A.'s history.

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