Bill W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson

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Macmillan, Oct 12, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages

When Bill Wilson, with his friend Dr. Bob Smith, founded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, his hope was that AA would become a safe haven for those who suffered from this disease. Thirty years after his death, AA continues to help millions of alcoholics recover from what had been commonly regarded as a hopeless addiction. Still, while Wilson was a visionary for millions, he was no saint. After cofounding Alcoholics Anonymous, he stayed sober for over thirty-five years, helping countless thousands rebuild their lives. But at the same time, Wilson suffered form debilitating bouts of clinical depression, was a womanizer, and experimented with LSD.

Francis Hartigan, the former secretary and confidant to Wilson's wife, Lois, has exhaustively researched his subject, writing with a complete insider's knowledge. Drawing on extensive interviews with Lois Wilson and scores of early members of AA, he fully explores Wilson's organizational genius, his devotion to the cause, and almost martyr-like selflessness. That Wilson, like all of us, had to struggle with his own personal demons makes this biography all the more moving and inspirational. Hartigan reveals the story of Wilson's life to be as humorous, horrific, and powerful as any of the AA vignettes told daily around the world.

 

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BILL W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Co-Founder Bill Wilson

User Review  - Kirkus

A readable, informative, succinct, respectful, but nonreverential biography of Bill Wilson (1895-1971), the guiding spirit and organizer of Alcoholics Anonymous, the hugely successful (millions of ... Read full review

Bill W.: a biography of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This intensely personal biography of Bill Wilson and the worldwide organization he cofounded looks at the man and the movement from the inside out. Hartigan, former secretary to Wilson's wife, Lois ... Read full review

Contents

The Poster
1
In This Corner
9
Powering Up
17
Trying Harder
24
Loyalty Beyond Measure
35
On the Street
41
The Crusaders
70
The Meeting
81
From Manuscript to Book
125
Alone
133
Renewal
140
Settling In
149
The Blackness Returns
160
Spiritual Explorations
174
The Steps Revisited
184
The Other Woman
190

The Manager
87
Two Programs
94
Impoverishment
101
Spreading the News
113

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About the author (2001)

Francis Hartigan is a corporate communications professional who has worked with the print media and produced documentaries. He was the secretary of and confidant to Bill Wilson's wife, Lois. He lives in New York City.

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