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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  5,183 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Librarian's Note: This is an alternate-cover edition for ISBN 0916856011 / 9780916856014

Originally published in 1952, this classic book is used by A.A. members and groups around the world. Bill W.'s 24 essays on the Steps and the Traditions discuss the principles by which A.A. members recover and by which the fellowship functions. The basic text clarifies the Steps which
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 10th 2002 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services (first published 1952)
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Linda Wall I think it would be a great 'spiritual teaching tex,' the companion book, Alcoholics Anonymous, states that the whole purpose of the Twelve Steps is t…moreI think it would be a great 'spiritual teaching tex,' the companion book, Alcoholics Anonymous, states that the whole purpose of the Twelve Steps is to help one find a Spiritual Way of life...

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Chris Garcia
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All of you drunks + everyone else
Beseeched by one of my clients to read it, I've found that this is surely one of the great spiritual texts. I would advise anyone to read it.

It does, however, contain some offensive throwbacks to the mid-twentieth century, when it was written, back when we were all the same, I guess. It's sexist -- all alcoholics are men, it seems, to the dismay of their wives. It's heterosexist (Oh, wait. That's not a throwback.).

Anyway, like the Bible and presumably many sacred texts, you have to ignore the ba
Jul 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with my wise friend Wendell. This book addresses much more than alcoholism. There is something very simple and clear about the twelve steps and twelve traditions--something that can impart the sort knowledge that is useful to a broad spectrum of folks.

I am fascinated by the way the steps and traditions are arranged. They seem to be constructed in an exceedingly intelligent way-- a way that discourages corruption, greed, gossip...It encourages sensible democracy and economy of thought, f
May 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People early in recovery (w/caveats!)
I really struggled with how to rate the "12 & 12." I've been sober for over 9 years now, and I stopped being a semi-regular AA probably 5 years ago. (And I was NEVER an "AA Nazi" at all. I never officially did all the Steps, and I'm pretty sure I've never even read the ENTIRE Big Book.) BUT, after I had been sober for 9 months on my own and went to my first meeting out of just a desperation to be around SOMEONE who might understand all the emotions I was going through, it meant so much to be abl ...more
A great and must-read adjunct to the Big Book, Alcoholic Anonymous. Whereas that was written very early in the life of the A.A. movement, when no one had more than a handful of years of experience of sober life, this was written with the benefit of much more insight and spiritual growth. This is a very practical how-to guide to applying the principles of the 12 Steps in one's personal life, and to applying the 12 Traditions to the thinking and decisions of groups. Both have proven themselves as ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Still read today!! Fabulous way of life!!!
Alex Lee
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
What's interesting about this book is that it poses a manual to a general reader about how to center one's self. To maintain humility and discipline (which appears to be the same thing, in different ways). To a great degree the book presses urgency and the need for one to come to an understanding of reliance. In order to be good we must be reminded of how bad we are; not so that we give up trying, but so that we always have a ways to go. Perhaps this is the lesson of religion here, that one shou ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
foundation of recovery. Love that its on my kindle....
not a huge exciting read, but I certainly have used it recently. It is part of some basic literature that is the foundation for a 12 step recovery program for personal growth, and self accountability. Its primary purpose is to help the person in recovery stay sober, but the 12 steps are so much more than that. They will help you learn about yourself, and grow in ways you would never imagine. The best part is its free!! All that is required is
Rev Ricky
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this may be the most important book written in the English language. When it comes to changing people's lives, giving hope to the hopeless, and giving a clear plan to the lost, only the bible (not written in English originally) compares.

Commonly thought of as the 12 steps to sobriety, this book applies to everyone who realizes they have besetting sins. It also provides a clear pathway to sanctification: admit your helplessness, call out to God, be willing to change, undergo a rigorous
Bcoghill Coghill
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
I don't drink or abuse substances but, as my 6th grade Sunday School class pointed out to me, I might be an alcoholic but as I don't drink, I can't know. What wise children.
This is a wonderful faith journey. There is much to take from this book.
I wonder if a person, such as I, worked the steps what it would produce. Goodness knows, I have been self centered, cruel and problematic to myself and others. I'm not brave enough to do so myself, at this time. Nor am I certain it would be beneficial but
Dawn Stone
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Always reading.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recovery
I've read this book in meetings and I read it to myself, just to go through it once sequentially in the beginning to help me to understand the recovery program of AA. Only 5-10% of the people who go to meetings end up being sober--which to me is a fantastic success rate, and makes me worry about the problem of addiction. It's not the only group or method of recovery. Each group is an autonomous unit and is self supporting. You can't do studies about it, because it's anonymous, but research has c ...more
Adam Helsel
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
I just hit a year and a half sober and I fear I’m becoming a dry drunk. I sought out a therapist who has been extremely helpful. She suggested I go to AA. I went to one meeting which was very beneficial but I’m far from an “AA guy”. I found it therapeutic just to be around my peers and seeing people be that honest and open.

I definitely fall under the bare minimum of an AA person. I go in there with “the desire to stop drinking” and a kind of vague faith in a “higher power”. This book is for peo
Tim Franzen
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These essays where written 15 years after Bill Wilson wrote Alcoholics Anonymous. There's a tremndous amount of insight into human behavior her, truly a treasure trove for anyone interested in the human mind. the essays on the traditions are also an interesting proposal for an anarcistic governing system that actually has proven pretty successful. A system that treasures personal independence, and de-centralized local governing bodies.
Katya Mills
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Helpful book and can help you sort out your life by following the tried and true principles (for recovering alcoholics) which guide you through living honestly, with integrity, using prayer and meditation to find peace and calm yourself, living unselfishly, letting go of resentments, and facing an uncertain future with dignity.
Everyone can benefit from such a process. How interesting It has been designed for one specific addiction, and yet, provides deep wisdom and psychology that applies to everyone.
It was designed to overcome one of the most difficult, seemingly impossible addiction. That's why it digs so deep in the human psyche.
Simplistic approach like "You want to forget your past", or "to fill your life with something else" or "your feel empty inside" only scratches the surface and is largely insufficient.

I also
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is well worth keeping in your arsenal along with many other tools to help support your mental and emotional attitude when dealing with addiction or an addict, along with 'The Courage to Change' and the AA's 'Blue Print for Success'.
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I live by this book. I use the 11th step prayer every morning to this day. For anyone that has had to walk down the path of Alcohol recovery, this book is a lifesaver!
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educational
This book changed my life. I have been sober since 8-12-1985!
I think working the 12 steps are essential to staying sober and living a great life.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recovery
Great book. Explains the 12-step process of recovery, step by step. Includes information about the Traditions, or by-laws, of AA, which is how the organization has survived since 1935.
John Yarbrough
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help, spiritual

great book and good reminders of the purpose of each step and tradition. I know that i'll use this as a reference for the future.
Carol  Roderick
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is not a novel but a reference book so to speak for people in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous - the 12 steps and 12 traditions are sacred to those in the program. I was in the program of Al-anon for 22 years - a program for those that love alcoholics. My mother was an alcoholic but she was 8 years sober before she died and they were wonderful years for both of us. This book is a bit antiquated because it was written many years ago. But if you can get past that you can begin to embr ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book among my late husband's belongings. I knew it had a profound effect on his life and so, missing him, I decided to read it myself to get to know him better after his death at 67 of cancer. Without any hesitation, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their relationship with loved ones, with people in general, and to have a happier and healthier attitude about life. Truly, you do not need to have an alcohol problem or even believe in a "higher power" to benef ...more
Michael Gilstrap
Profound insight into modern day miracle

Alcoholics Anonymous is a modern day miracle in that it’s grown from it’s founding to a worldwide movement that’s helped thousands and thousands recover from their addiction to alcohol.

This book explains the foundations of both the individual path to recovery as well as the institutional genius — forged through many difficult mistakes along the way — that enables AA to continue to help all who wish to stop drinking.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful short complementary volume to Alcoholics Anonymous (the "Big Book"), the primary text of the 12-Step Fellowship. The book contains 24 chapters, one for each of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. It was written over 10 years after the publication of the Big Book, and contains both elaboration on each of the Steps (and a lot more on the Traditional) and learnings from Bill W. and Dr. Bob in the early years of the Fellowship.
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Drunks and addicts love nothing more than loopholes! Here Bill W. effectively closes all such loopholes that rationalizing idiots (like myself) might sniff out in the "Big Book" and keeps our mind about our business of getting healthy. Thumpers will decry it (and I'm slightly one such "thumper"), but my ESH will not allow me to poo poo this great book. Great for working with the newcomer and putting seasoned alcoholics and addicts in a better understanding of Bill W.'s original goal.
Rob Burns
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great if one is in recovery. Best advice that was given to me when reading this and the big book, "Look for similarities."

I guess it's normal for the brain to say "I'm not that bad." But if one approaches these recovery topics as "How does this apply to me?" I think one will get a lot more from this beyond his wildest dreams.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book starts with in-depth discussions of the twelve steps as written in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and concludes with in-depth discussions of the twelve traditions, which were actually articles published in the AA Grapevine. An excellent read for anyone who wants more information that the book Alcoholics Anonymous provides.
Levi Hobbs
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I consider this the most foundational text for working the steps. The Big Book is powerful, but it was written while the founders of AA were still trying to get sober and it would be hard to argue that it has no flaws. The 12x12, on the other hand, I have found to be very thorough on every step and provide deep insights on each one.
Karla Winick-Ford
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
As a religious person, this is biased. Those suffering may close doors or fall blankly because of how heavily the program relies on the foundation of faith. The literature is inconclusive whether or not this works
Bob Stouffer
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A System That Works

When an addict follows the “12 Steps” and “12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous with fidelity, the system has a proven track record. This book and The Big Book of A.A. lay out that system in a clear and inspiring way.
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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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“We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole aim of our lives.” 45 likes
“We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be “taught a lesson,” when we really want to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living. An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.” 30 likes
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