The Little Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is, in effect, a translation of the AA text written by founders of the organization over 70 years ago. The original text, titled Alcoholics Anonymous, was intended mainly for white, middle-class men with stay-at-home wives, as they made up the bulk of the fellowship in its early years. Many of readers today find the 1939 version of the Big Book difficult to read. The words and sentences have a scholarly tone and the style is reminiscent of a forgotten time in history. Sexist language was the rule at the time, a style that bothers many modern readers. Also, references to a Higher Power are often couched in Christian terms. The Little Big Book avoids sexist language, and welcomes people of all lifestyles and faiths. This book was written to carry the AA message to readers who find the first 164 pages of the original AA text hard to digest for any reason. As a paragraph-by-paragraph translation, it can be used alongside the original text as a study aid or by itself.
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The author is a retired writer who has published numerous nonfiction books, magazine articles, and scientific papers. She has been an AA member for many years and still attends meetings regularly. She chooses to remain anonymous in the AA tradition.Review:
At last! A Big Book for everyone...women, non-Christians, gay people, and people with limited reading skills. The Little Big Book of AA brings the language of the original Alcoholics Anonymous, written by Bill Wilson, into the 21st century. He wrote it mainly for educated, white, middle class, Christian males because those were the folks who made up early AA membership. The simple, direct writing makes the message of the the Big Book much easier to get without any loss of meaning. In fact, the Little Big Book is a carefully phrased translation. AA members loyal to the original Big Book might find the Little Big Book an excellent study aid for their sponsees. The language has been simplified, but the content is the same. --Anonymous, Amazon Kindle
Some people believe you should have to struggle through the original version of The Big Book as part of the process of recovery. Frankly, I think recovery itself is enough of a struggle. I appreciate having a version of the book which lays out concepts in a way that is easy to understand and apply. Also, I have a hard time taking some of the Christian principles and understanding how to use them in my life as a non Christian. I appreciate the author has removed that hurdle for me. --A. Tyler, Amazon Kindle
The anonymous author of this work has taken a bold step by updating the language of the original Big Book, which has barely changed since its introduction in 1939. Without changing the core message, this welcome addition to recovery literature recasts this important work in modern language and has rephrased it to make it more inclusive and accessible. Yet, it never talks down to the reader. This version has mitigated some of the tongue-twisters that newcomers often struggle with, especially during readings at Big Book study meetings. Although some may object to any changes in the text of such a well-known work, the Little big Book does an excellent job of refreshing the message in a way that will appeal to contemporary readers. --John Elm, Amazon Kindle
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