The history of alcoholics anonymous is amazing. The twelve steps and the 12 traditions have saved who knows how many lives, including mine.
When I showed up at my first meeting in Bloomington, around April 9th, 1980 in Bloomington, Illinois, there were a cadre of folks there who accepted me, and talked among themselves about the Steps, in order to insure a little more time away from the hell that is chronic alcoholism.
In other words the program that grew out of the struggles of folks in New York and Akron, Ohio in the 1930's to stay alive and make sense out of the program they were creating as their deaths loomed was functioning smoothly in Bloomington, Illinois, based on volunteer service, when I showed up.
The whole process is amazing, and to read the history of it in the book Not God, by Ernest Kurtz, which goes a little into the personalities and the fierceness around the language which worked for some and not others, like the use of the word "God", is amazing.
How it ever got done is beyond me. But thank God it did.
There are far better sites than mine which detail the history of alcoholics anonymous, so I will link to them here.
If you are an historian, prepare for a treasure trove, and if you are a still suffering wino, have hope. Keep coming back because it works.
Dr. Bob and Bill W. did not know about neurogenesis. When you quit putting a poison in your brain, it will begin to grow new neurons every day. This tool enhances that process. Do it before Big Book study.