"The Big Book" Online
Forward  "This is the fourth edition of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous." The first edition appeared in April 1939, and in the following sixteen years, more than300,000 copies went into circulation.  The second edition, published in 1955, reached a total of more than 1,150,500 copies.  The third edition, which came off press in 1976, achieved a circulation of 11,689,000.

     Because this book became the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it.  Therefore, the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program, has been left untouched in the course of the revisions made for the second, third and fourth editions.  The section called "The Doctors Opinion" has been kept intact, just as it was originally written in 1939 by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, our society's great medical benefactor....

     If you have a drinking problem, we hope you may pause in reading one of the forty-two personal stories and think: "Yes, that happened to me"; or more important, "Yes, I've felt like that"; or, most important, "Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.""

Alcoholic Anonymous pg.xiii

  It brings me great joy in offering this online version of the first 164 pages of "The Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I pray that you will receive the miracles this program has to offer, and that you may lead a life that is "happy,  joyous and free!"

                                                                                 John L.

The Doctors Opinion     
Bill's Story  
There is a Solution  
More About Alcoholism  
We Agnostics  
How it Works  
Into Action  
Working with Others  
To Wives  
The Family Afterward  
To Employers  
A Vision for You  
The Index  


  1. Permission. Permission to reproduce the Big Book's Third Edition introduction has been applied for. The other material is not covered by copyright laws because AA forgot to renew the copyright.

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