Who Wrote the AA Big Book

Who Wrote the AA Big Book?

The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Big Book is a cornerstone of the recovery program that has helped millions of individuals overcome their struggles with alcohol addiction. It is a comprehensive guide that outlines the principles and steps of the AA program. However, the question of who exactly wrote the AA Big Book is not as straightforward as it may seem.

The AA Big Book was primarily written by Bill Wilson, one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Born in 1895, Wilson himself was a recovering alcoholic who had experienced the devastating consequences of his addiction firsthand. Along with Dr. Bob Smith, another alcoholic who had managed to achieve sobriety, Wilson co-founded AA in 1935.

Wilson’s personal experiences and spiritual journey heavily influenced the content of the AA Big Book. He drew inspiration from various sources, including his own struggles with alcoholism, his involvement with the Oxford Group (a Christian organization), and his interactions with other recovering alcoholics.

However, the AA Big Book was not solely the work of Bill Wilson. The book’s creation involved extensive collaboration with other members of the early AA movement. Many individuals shared their personal stories, insights, and experiences, which were then incorporated into the book. In fact, the AA Big Book includes numerous personal accounts from recovering alcoholics, providing readers with relatable narratives of addiction and recovery.

The first edition of the AA Big Book was published in 1939, and subsequent editions have been released since then. These revisions have been made to update and refine the content, ensuring that the book remains relevant to the evolving needs of individuals seeking recovery from alcohol addiction.


Q: Is Bill Wilson the sole author of the AA Big Book?

A: While Bill Wilson played a significant role in writing the AA Big Book, it was a collaborative effort involving input from multiple individuals in the early AA movement.

Q: Are the personal stories in the AA Big Book real?

A: Yes, the personal stories in the AA Big Book are based on the experiences of real individuals who have struggled with alcohol addiction and found recovery through the AA program.

Q: Can anyone contribute their story to the AA Big Book?

A: Yes, any member of Alcoholics Anonymous can contribute their personal story to the AA Big Book. These stories are typically shared during AA meetings and can be submitted for consideration to be included in future editions of the book.

Q: How often is the AA Big Book updated?

A: The AA Big Book has undergone several revisions since its initial publication in 1939. These updates are made periodically to ensure that the content remains relevant and reflects the evolving needs of individuals seeking recovery from alcohol addiction.

Q: Can the AA Big Book help people who are not alcoholics?

A: While the AA Big Book is specifically designed for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction, its principles and insights can be valuable to anyone seeking personal growth, self-improvement, or understanding of addiction.

In conclusion, the AA Big Book is a product of collaboration among members of Alcoholics Anonymous, with Bill Wilson serving as its primary author. However, the book’s content also incorporates the personal stories and experiences of other recovering alcoholics. The AA Big Book has proven to be a powerful tool that continues to provide hope, inspiration, and guidance to those seeking recovery from alcohol addiction.

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