A Skeptical Journalist

Editor’s note: Four years after his groundbreaking article on AA was published, writer Jack Alexander recalled his initial doubts about the group in an AA publication.

Jack Alexander
Jack Alexander

It began when the Post asked me to look into AA as a possible article subject. All I knew of alcoholism at the time was that, like most other non-alcoholics, I had had my hand bitten (and my nose punched) on numerous occasions by alcoholic pals to whom I had extended a hand — unwisely, it always seemed afterward. Anyway, I had an understandable skepticism about the whole business.

My first contact with actual AAs came when a group of four of them called at my apartment one afternoon. This session was pleasant, but it didn’t help my skepticism any. Each one introduced himself as an alcoholic who had gone “dry,” as the official expression has it. They were good-looking and well-dressed, and as we sat around drinking Coca-Cola (which was all they would take), they spun yarns about their horrendous drinking misadventures. The stories sounded spurious, and after the visitors had left, I had a strong suspicion that my leg was being pulled. They had behaved like a bunch of actors sent out by some Broadway casting agency.

Excerpt from “Jack Alexander of SatEvePost Fame Thought AAs Were Pulling His Leg,” AA Grapevine, May 1945

Read Jack Alexander’s articles on Alcoholics Anonymous from the Post archive:

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

“Alcoholics Anonymous”
by Jack Alexander

A drunk man sitting on his hotel bed

“The Drunkard’s Best Friend”
by Jack Alexander