From the November 1984 magazine. First printed in October 1971.

The Price Tag on Personal Growth

Do we realize that AA's Tradition of self-support pays dividends more precious than gold? - From the November 1971 Grapevine

IF YOU ARE a social or behavioral scientist (as I am), you can look at AA this way: It represents the first successful effort in history by a group of people with a physiological and/or psychological disease to achieve their own common control of that disease. AA also stands as one of the few (but not only) successful attempts by individuals suffering from "anomie" or "alienation" to overcome this condition by creating, in effect, a community of the alienated, though they come of different religious, educational, national, and ethnic backgrounds. "Alienated" people are simply folk who cannot harmonize with their cultures' values and normal life-styles, and their inability may be manifested in many other ways besides drinking.

The unique and, so far, largely unexplainable success of our Fellowship is no secret and is naturally of great interest to professionals in medicine and social work (not all of them social or behavioral scientists), as well as to the public at large. Most of the curious are practical people and frequently ask of us a practical question: "How does AA work?"

-- G. G.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!