Making the Case for AA

In 1941, the Post reported on an obscure group known as Alcoholics Anonymous. The article would become a turning point in the organization’s history.

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AA had its beginnings in 1935 when a doctor and a layman, both alcoholics, helped each other recover and then developed, with a third recovering alcoholic, the organization’s guiding principles. By 1941, the group had demonstrated greater success in helping alcoholics than any previous methods and had grown to about 2,000 members. But for most of North America, AA was still unknown. Following the March 1, 1941, publication of an article written by Jack Alexander in The Saturday Evening Post (see “Alcoholics Anonymous,” below) describing AA’s extraordinary success, inquiries began to flood in, leaving the small staff of what was then a makeshift headquarters overwhelmed. Alcoholics Anonymous tripled in size in the next year and continued to grow exponentially. Today, 75 years later, AA claims 2 million members worldwide, 1.2 million of them in the U.S. Following are links to the original Post article that many credit for AA’s success and two of Jack Alexander’s follow-up articles.

Read Jack Alexander’s articles on Alcoholics Anonymous:

Man using a towel to pull a glass of alcohol to his mouth

“Alcoholics Anonymous”
by Jack Alexander

Jack Alexander

“A Skeptical Journalist”
by Jack Alexander

A drunk man sitting on his hotel bed

“The Drunkard’s Best Friend”
by Jack Alexander

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