Another thing changed in this last rewriting was qualifying the word God with the phrase as we understand Him. This was one of my few contributions to the book. In the final finishing the fellowship angle was enlarged and emphasized. After many arguments and uproars, the manuscript was finally finished, complete, in December We now had one real problem no money. It was about this time that the Men Corporation was closed out and a new one started named Works Publishing Company.
This name derived from a common expression, used in the group, It works!! Those that had stock or interest in the old corporation maintained the same priority in the new one. Editor s Note: Three years later the original stock subscribers returned all their shares and interest in Works Publishing Company to The Alcoholic Foundation. Today no individual has any financial interest in either the Alcoholic Foundation or in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Carré Marie - AA-1025 The memoirs of an anti-apostle
Then a new wrinkle was devised by our master-minds we would make a couple of hundred multilith copies of the finished manuscript and these we would use as a promotion for more stock selling and at the same time to get possible endorsement of well-known people, particularly, in the fields of religion and medicine. These copies were distributed to the Works Publishing Company shareholders and possible prospective stockholders.
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From this venture, we did not get one new stockholder. However, the copies did get into all sections of the country. One created quite an amusing incident for it got into the hands of a patient in a psychopathic hospital in California. This man immediately caught fire and religion all in one fell swoop. He wrote and told us about the wonderful release he had from alcohol through our new Alcoholics Anonymous multilith.
Of course all of us in New York became highly excited and wires bounced back and forth between us and our new convert regarding this miracle that happened 3, miles away. This man wrote the last personal history in the book while he was still in California called the Lone Endeavor. Our New York Groups were so impressed by his recovery that we passed the hat and sent for him to come East as an example. This he did, but when the boys met him at the bus station the delusion faded, for he arrived stone drunk and as far as I know, never came out of it.
The major result of the multilith was our first important endorsement outside of our group and friends.
It came from Dr. So here we were again, broke, only more so! Towne, who already had a good slice in the original corporation.
With the blank copper plates and Dr. Towne s loan, Hank prevailed on the Cornwall Press, in February , to make 8, copies for our first edition.
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The book was purposely made to look bulky for two reasons -- to give it an air of intellectual authority and to make it look like a lot for the money. The dust jacket, with its familiar red, black, yellow and white, was designed by one of our artist members, Ray Campbell, whose story in the book is called An Artists Concept. Our method of distributing the books was to get possibly ten copies out at a time, and the members would individually buttonhole libraries, doctors and others for sales.
Funds received from these purchasers were in turn used to buy additional copies, which in their turn were sold in the same way. About the only bookstores we could interest at the start was Brentano s in New York, who did gamble on a half a dozen copies. Five of the very first books were presented to Dr. Fishbein, editor of the American Medical Journal to whom Dr. Towne had lauded AA. Fishbein had promised to give us a real buildup in the Journal but when his review appeared, it merely said that AA was nothing new and had no real significance to the medical profession. So another balloon busted.
We thought we had the real answer to publicity this time, and we all sat back and started guessing and betting among ourselves on the number of requests we would get for our million-dollar book.
The estimates ranged from 2, to 20, copies, but we were due for another disappointment, as only two copies of the book were sold in spite of our seven-day free trial offer. It was about this time that we got our first really active girl member, Marty Mann, who took the AA program while under restraint at Blythwood Sanitarium.
Marty s efforts on behalf of women alcoholics in the early days were of inestimable value and today she is one of the most indefatigable workers on behalf of AA in the country. It was also in June of this year that we made our first contact with the Rockefeller Foundation. This was arranged by Bert Taylor, one of the older members, who had known the family for years in a business way. Richardson, who had long been spiritual advisor for the Rockefeller family, became very interested and friendly, and Bill and Hank made frequent visits to him, with Hank on one side asking for financial help and Bill on the other insisting on moral support only.
Our first national publicity was arranged through one of our new members, Morgan Ryan in August This was a spot on the We The People radio program, which was then very popular. Again we were disappointed, for this publicity brought us only a dozen inquiries and one book sale. This was despite the fact that we sent out 10, post cards to doctors and ministers in the New York area announcing the broadcast.
It was also in August that a real calamity befell Bill, for he and Lois were evicted from their home on Clinton Street. This had once been Lois girlhood home and was AA s first home. Little did Bill and Lois know that for the next two years they would be homeless, dependent on the hospitality of other AA s.
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Bob in Akron. Clarence and his wife, Dorothy, obtained our first newspaper publicity, which was in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in September As a result of this publicity the Cleveland Group, within thirty days, became temporarily the largest group in the country. Our first medical endorsement also came in September from Dr. His praise was the result of our work with alcoholics in the hospital there over a period of approximately six months.
The first national magazine to give us a break was Liberty, in October , with a two-page article labeled Alcoholics and God. This article brought in about a thousand inquiries and sold possibly one hundred books. My guess would be that as a summary for the year , we had three active groups with a total membership of less than and a gross book sale for eight months of less than By the end of also, AA was beginning to get some real recognition. At the end of December that year John D.
Rockefeller, Jr. The invitations stated that the purpose of the dinner was to have these people meet a group of people on whom Rockefeller had become interested, no name announced. The dinner and the publicity were arranged by Rockefeller s personal publicity man, Ivy Lee. Sixty actually attended this dinner, some of the more prominent being Dr. There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants.
He is the type that gives rise to the jokes in the funny papers. This is contrasted to drinkers such as the narrator, who are possessed of imagination and become drunk more in brain than in body. To them, John Barleycorn sends clear visions of the eventual pointlessness of life and love and struggle.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. John Barleycorn First edition cover.
Leslie Jamison: confessional writing is not self-indulgent
Works by Jack London. Lost Face South Sea Tales Categories : American novels Novels by Jack London American autobiographical novels Novels about alcoholism Memoirs about alcoholism. I quit AA a year or so ago after 14 years as a 12 step fundamentalist.