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 Big Book Resources

In 1939 the First Edition of the basic text of AA was published under the name Alcoholics Anonymous. AA lore has it that the fellowship was named after the first printing of the "Big Book" as AA members call the book that is the heart and soul of the AA Program.



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There have been three revisions of the Big Book. One in 1955, and the second in 1976. The 4th edition of the Big Book is available as of December 2002. The revised printings were designed to better reflect the current fellowship of the time. 

We hope you enjoy the content on this page dedicated to the Book that has carried the message responsible for saving millions of lives.


4th Edition Big Book Quotes

"I have a conscious daily contact with my Creator today, and He loves me. Everything is sacred as a result of the Twelve Steps and the love and recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous"

"I am active in AA service work and have both a sponsor and several sponsees with whom it is a privilege to work. All of those are gifts from God"

"...I had what I know to be my first spiritual awakening: that I was an alcoholic and didn't have to drink!"

"...the tides of life flow endlessly for better or worse, both good and bad....Sobriety must have a life of it's own."

"...participation in the AA way of life is a blessing and a privilege beyond estimate- a blessing to live free from the pain and degradation of drinking and filled with the joy of useful, sober living..."


Big Book Links

The First Printing of the First Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous

                       Big Book Facts and Trivia

  • The Original cost of a Big Book in 1939 was $3.50.  That is over $40.00 in todays dollars as adjusted for inflation.

  • The First Edition was published by Works Publishing, a company started by Bill W. and Hank P. solely for the publication of the Big Book

  • Ann Smith suggested the name "Works Publishing" from the line in the New Testament  "Faith Without Works is Dead."

  • The One Millionth Big Book was given to President Richard M.Nixon in a White House ceremony in 1973.

  • It took 16 years to sell the first 300,000 printed copied of the Big Book.( The whole run of the First Edition )

  • There are over 20,000,000 copies of the Big Book in print.

  • Over One Million copies of the Big Book are sold yearly.

  • Chapter 8, To Wives was written entirely by Bill W. ( much to the disapproval of Lois )

  • Loans for friends of John D. Rockefeller Jr. help fund the early printing of the Big Book.

  • The first paperback edition of the Big Book was published in 1986.

  • Bill W. and Dr. Bob each received 10% of all the Big Book sales as royalties.

  • Early considered titles included One Hundred Men, The Empty Glass, and The Way Out.

  • The total distribution of the 1st Edition of the AA Big Book was approximately 300,426 copies.  

  • The distribution of the Second Edition Big Book was approximately 1,090,416 copies.

  • The distribution of the Third Edition Big Book was approximately 19,843,221 copies.



The fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous costs $5.00 in hardcover, only $1.50 more than it did 62 years ago; a soft-cover edition sells for $4.60. Copies of the book and information about Alcoholics Anonymous may be obtained at a local A.A. service office, listed under Alcoholics Anonymous in the phone book, or through A.A. World Services, Inc., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163



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No matter our circumstances today, let's thank God for what we have.




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