The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth

The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth

By Dick B.

© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved


If you would like to know how the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous maintained and grew in the spiritual condition produced by their recovery program, then this book is for you. The author has spent over twenty-four years in travel, research, and interviews discovering the books and other written materials that were studied by members of the highly successful A.A. of the late 1930’s.

Here you will find that their primary source book was the Bible—called by A.A. co-founder, Dr. Bob, “The  Good Book.” There is a summary of the immense amount of spiritual literature that Dr. Bob read, recommended, and loaned to the thousands he helped. Anne Ripley Smith, Dr. Bob’s wife, who was called the “Mother of A.A.,” assembled a wide variety of spiritual books which she read, recommended, and interpreted to the early A.A.’s and their families at the Smith home on 855 Ardmore Avenue, Akron, Ohio. A.A.’s other “co-founders” in Akron also did a great amount of reading for spiritual growth and passed the contents on to the pioneers. And this title contains the books that Henrietta Seiberling, T. Henry and Clarace Williams, and Clarence S. discussed at the meetings of the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship meetings.

In addition, you will find a comprehensive list of the daily Bible devotionals, and the writings of the Oxford Group and of Sam Shoemaker that inspired early AAs. You will also learn of the large amount of other Christian literature of the day that was studied by Bill and Lois Wilson, and the others in their Oxford Group and alcoholic circle of friends and acquaintances. The recollections of Bill Wilson’s secretary, Nell Wing, and of other old-timers are listed. Without a doubt, this title contains,not only the most recent, but also the most comprehensive report on the spiritual literature that was read and utilized during A.A.’s formative years.


Dick B., The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc.; 1998; $21.95; ISBN 1-885803-26-5. Available through, Barnes & Noble,, and other distributors.








About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement.
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