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1 Beaverton Recovery and Addiction- Drug and Alcohol Addiction

My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

by

My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous Cover

ISBN13: 9780743201544
ISBN10: 074320154x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Susan Cheever's final judgement is unblinking but forgiving: 'Bill Wilson never held himself up as a model: he only hoped to help other people by sharing his own experience, strength and hope. He insisted again and again that he was just an ordinary man'. An ordinary man who nonetheless did one extraordinary thing." John Sutherland, The Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this thoroughly researched and groundbreaking biography of Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, acclaimed author Susan Cheever creates a remarkably human portrait of a man whose life and work both influenced and saved the lives of millions of people. Drawn from personal letters and diaries, records in a variety of archives, and hundreds of interviews, this definitive biography is the first fully documented account of Bill Wilson's life story.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide organization that since 1935 has helped people break free from the destructive influence of intoxicating and addictive substances. This great wave of comfort and help that has covered the world had its beginning in one man, born shortly before the start of the twentieth century. Utilizing exhaustive research, Cheever traces Bill Wilson's life beginning with his birth in a small town in Vermont, where, following the breakup of his parents' marriage, he was raised primarily by his grandparents. Handsome and intelligent, with a wit and charm that both women and men responded to, he seemed at the outset to be capable of achieving anything he wanted.

Wilson, however, also suffered from deep-seated insecurity, and once he was away from the provincial Vermont town, he found that alcohol helped relieve his self-doubts and brought out the charm and wit that had made him a favorite in school.

"Help" eventually turned to dependence, and years after his first beer — consumed at a Newport, Rhode Island, dinner party — Bill Wilson finally had to come to terms with the fact that, while he loved the way alcohol made him feel, his life was spiraling out of control. Through a painful process of trial and error, using a blend of experiences, ideas, and medical knowledge gained through several hospitalizations, he was able to stop drinking. A few months later, when he met Dr. Robert Smith of Akron, Ohio, and was able to help him stop drinking also, Alcoholics Anonymous was born. Each man found in the other the support he needed to overcome the hold alcohol had on them. Together they discovered the power they had to help other alcoholics.

Success did not come overnight, however, and as Cheever compellingly relates, Wilson had many struggles in a life fraught with controversies, including experiments with LSD and an unconventional fifty-three-year marriage.

As one of the most influential and important thinkers of the twentieth century, Bill Wilson changed the way our society deals with addiction, and his ideas in turn have benefited countless individuals and their families. His life was complex, and in Susan Cheever's fascinating biography, he emerges as a man of great passion and courage; it is a story fully told for the first time.

Review:

"Cheever brings authority on alcoholism as well as considerable skills as a researcher and writer to this unblinking biography of the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous." Booklist

Review:

"Although the compression of so much material disserves Cheever's intentions, the resulting lumpiness is oddly consistent with Wilson's life and character." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"If only a novel, My Name Is Bill, in terms of memorable characters and poignant details, would be quite a success. As the biography of one of the most humane and beneficial Americans who ever lived, it is a national treasure." Kurt Vonnegut

Review:

"Susan Cheever has written a stunning and moving book about the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous....I couldn't put it down. Anyone who is interested in Alcoholics Anonymous or in humanity should read this book!" Judy Collins

Synopsis:

The definitive biography of Bill Wilson, a cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, is drawn from exclusive access to his personal letters and diaries, documents in the organization's archives, and hundreds of interviews.

Synopsis:

A portrait of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson traces his austere northeast childhood, service in World War II, battle with alcoholism, unconventional long-term marriage, and creation of the Twelve Step Program.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-293) and index.

About the Author

Susan Cheever is the bestselling author of eleven previous books, including five novels and the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark. Her work has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Boston Globe Winship Medal. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Corporation of Yaddo, and a member of the Author's Guild Council. She writes a weekly column for Newsday and teaches in the Bennington College M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with her family.

Table of Contents

Contents

Part One: A Rural Childhood

1. The Wilson House

2. East Dorset

3. The Wilson Family and the Griffith Family

4. Dorset Pond

5. The Griffith House

6. The State of Vermont

7. Mark Whalon

8. Mount Aeolus

9. Burr and Burton

10. Bertha Bamford

11. Lois Burnham

12. New York City

13. New Bedford and the First Drink

Part Two: Drinking

14. France

15. The Edison Test

16. Brooklyn

17. Motorcycle Hobos

18. Manchester Airport

19. Montreal

20. Towns Hospital

Part Three: Alcoholics Anonymous

21. The Oxford Group

22. Akron, Ohio

23. 182 Clinton Street

24. Not Maximum

25. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

26. Stepping Stones

27. 334 1/2 West 24th Street

28. Trabuco College

29. Depression

30. Our Common Welfare Should Come First

31. Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith

Part Four: Life After A.A.

32. The Spook Room

33. St. Louis, Missouri

34. Marty Mann

35. 526 Bedford Road

36. The Family Afterward

37. Carl Jung

38. Miami

Afterword

Acknowledgments

Chronology

Appendix: The Twelve Steps and The Twelve Traditions

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

OrangePapers, April 20, 2007 (view all comments by OrangePapers)
Susan Cheever's book is a complete white-wash, a pathetic piece of minimalization and denial. She glossed over everything from Bill Wilson's lying and philandering to his practice of necromancy, conducting seances and talking with the dead.

Bill Wilson was a criminal, a fraud, a swindler, and a cult founder, and Susan Cheever is one of his later-day true believers. Her glorification of Bill Wilson has even gotten her elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency -- the NCADD -- the A.A. front group that was founded by "Mrs." Marty Mann to promote Alcoholics Anonymous.

Check out these links for specific criticisms of Susan Cheever's rationalization of Bill Wilson's misbehavior:
all at http://www.orange-papers.org/
orange-heresy.html#SC1
orange-otherwomen.html#SC2
orange-otherwomen.html#SC3
orange-otherwomen.html#SC4
orange-otherwomen.html#SC5
orange-otherwomen.html#SC6
orange-otherwomen.html#SC7
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(8 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743201544
Subtitle:
Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous
Author:
Cheever, Susan
Author:
Cheever, Susan
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Alcoholics
Subject:
Twelve-Step Programs
Subject:
W., Bill
Subject:
Substance Abuse & Addictions - Alcoholism
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Series Volume:
no.5
Publication Date:
20040203
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.73x5.79x1.06 in. .94 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » 12 Steps
» Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Drug and Alcohol Addiction

My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743201544 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Susan Cheever's final judgement is unblinking but forgiving: 'Bill Wilson never held himself up as a model: he only hoped to help other people by sharing his own experience, strength and hope. He insisted again and again that he was just an ordinary man'. An ordinary man who nonetheless did one extraordinary thing." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
"Review" by , "Cheever brings authority on alcoholism as well as considerable skills as a researcher and writer to this unblinking biography of the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous."
"Review" by , "Although the compression of so much material disserves Cheever's intentions, the resulting lumpiness is oddly consistent with Wilson's life and character."
"Review" by , "If only a novel, My Name Is Bill, in terms of memorable characters and poignant details, would be quite a success. As the biography of one of the most humane and beneficial Americans who ever lived, it is a national treasure."
"Review" by , "Susan Cheever has written a stunning and moving book about the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous....I couldn't put it down. Anyone who is interested in Alcoholics Anonymous or in humanity should read this book!"
"Synopsis" by , The definitive biography of Bill Wilson, a cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, is drawn from exclusive access to his personal letters and diaries, documents in the organization's archives, and hundreds of interviews.
"Synopsis" by , A portrait of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson traces his austere northeast childhood, service in World War II, battle with alcoholism, unconventional long-term marriage, and creation of the Twelve Step Program.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-293) and index.
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