Twelve Defining Moments in the History of Alcoholics Anonymous

  • William L. White
  • Ernest Kurtz
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 18)


Misconceptions about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) abound in spite of (or because of) the thousands of theses, dissertations, books, professional and popular articles, and Internet commentaries that have been written about AA. One of the most pervasive characterizations of AA is that it is a “treatment” for alcoholism—a characterization that distorts the meaning of both mutual aid and alcoholism treatment. This article describes 12 character-defining moments in the history of AA that highlight the differences between AA and alcoholism treatment.


Spiritual Experience Alcoholic Anonymous Town Hospital Alcoholism Treatment Public Education Campaign 
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About the Authors

William White is a Senior Research Consultant at Chestnut Health Systems and author of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America. Ernest Kurtz is Adjunct Assistant Research Scientist at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, and the author of Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous and co-author of The Spirituality of Imperfection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chestnut Health SystemsSenior Research ConsultantBloomingtonUSA

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