This collection of stories offers back to the A.A. Fellowship the experience of 56 members whose stories are no longer available in the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous. There have been three revisions of the Big Book’s story section, and each time, as new stories were added to reflect A.A.’s changing membership, others had to be dropped to make room for them. Over the years, more and more A.A. members requested a separate publication of these stories, and the General Service Conference asked for publication of this collection, which was approved in 2002.
Cofounder Bill W. was keenly aware of the importance of personal stories; he wrote: “The story section of the Big Book…is our principal means of identifying with the reader outside of A.A., it is the written equivalent of hearing speakers at an A.A. meeting; it is our show window of the results.” The A.A.s you will meet in Part One (stories written in 1939 for the first edition) were numbered among the first 100 members. The stories in Parts Two and Three originally appeared in the second and third editions in 1955 and 1976, and these writers are the product of a more mature Fellowship. A.A. membership continues to grow and change, but these stories from the past will never be outdated.