By Matthew J. Raphael
Model four, proofed and formatted
William Griffith Wilson, lately pointed out by way of Time journal as one of many hundred so much influential contributors of the 20th century, is healthier recognized to many as invoice W., cofounder of Alcoholics nameless. In invoice W. and Mr. Wilson, Matthew J. Raphael, himself a member of A.A. (and writing the following less than a pseudonym, in accord with AA's culture of anonymity), offers a revealing new examine either the mythical invoice W. and the non-public Mr. Wilson, who attempted to reside except his personal celebrity.
In quest of a extra traditionally actual and entire account, Raphael separates truth from fiction within the normal biographies of Wilson and unearths cause to doubt the literal fact of a few foundational AA tales. He additionally offers a context for Wilson's (and hence AA's) key rules within the paintings of William James, Carl Jung, and different sleek thinkers. What emerges is an unvarnished portrait of a charismatic guy and social visionary, whose real greatness is all of the extra obvious in view of his human imperfections.
Readers already accustomed to Alcoholics nameless will locate a lot to interact them. Others will observe AA and its cofounder from an insider's viewpoint.
Read or Download Bill W. and Mr. Wilson: The Legend and Life of A.A.’s Cofounder PDF
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Additional info for Bill W. and Mr. Wilson: The Legend and Life of A.A.’s Cofounder
Speakers tell their stories, they ordinarily follow the triadic formula suggested in ‘’How It Works,” a passage, often read at meetings, from the fifth chapter of the Big Book: “Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now” (AA, 58). A. is how a given speaker adjusts the proportions among the three parts. “What we used to be like” is often the most colorful portion of an alcoholic’s career, especially when the drunken years featured blackouts, prodigious hangovers, marital combat, death-defying car wrecks, drunken driving arrests, and the like.
Riding the buggy home in the wee hours, Billy, exhausted by the emotional upheaval, clings to his father and falls asleep. He will never forget, Thomsen says, “the feel of his father’s coat” (BW, 11). Bill W. effectively mitigates the elder Wilson’s actions which from another angle might be seen as grossly negligent and irresponsible by seeming to participate in his misogyny: the stubborn resistance, passed from father to son, to female authority, deemed all the more oppressive for its godliness, domesticity, and sober propriety.
Maybe this meant that my sanity had been restored. I remembered that in trying to help other people, I had stayed sober myself. For the first time I deeply realized it. I thought, “You need another alcoholic to talk to. ” (AACA, 6566) Hence the redeeming urge to use the church directory to find a local member of the Oxford Group, the First-Century Christian Fellowship, in which Bill had gotten sober and to which he had tried to attract other alcoholics. One call led to another and ultimately to the fateful meeting the next evening, 12 May 1935, between Wilson and Smith.