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AA to Z: An Addictionary of the 12-Step Culture [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Cavanaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

What does a codependent say to his mate when he wakes up?  
"Good  morning, how am I?"
--Overheard at a Codependents Anonymous meeting

Throughout the world today, more than two million alcoholics and hundreds of thousands of drug addicts, compulsive overeaters, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, codependents, and other addicts abstain from their addiction, having found a new life by practicing the 12-step program of recovery developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.  Over the years, their practices have evolved into a way of life--the 12-Step Culture.

"I don't remember my first meeting, but I've been told that I talked for a really long time."
--Mary, a member of Narcotics Anonymous

AA to Z is the first book to document the richness and diversity of the lives of recovering people and to provide an encyclopedic look at this unique subculture.  Less self-help than enlightenment and entertainment, AA to Z is comprised of real-life stories of recovering addicts as well as an "addictionary" of recovery terminology.  Everything from the well-known slogan "One Day at a Time" to more esoteric terms like "pigeon" (a lovingly insulting term for a newcomer to the program) and "Wharf Rats" (sober Deadheads) is explained with clarity, insight, and humor.  

"How it works, you ask--slowly and well."
--Cooper, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous

Conversational, witty, and engaging, AA to Z is a must-have for all 12-step participants and their loved ones, and it offers the uninitiated a fascinating firsthand look at one of the most influential yet least-documented cultural movements of our time.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

AA to Z is a reader-friendly paperback chock full of useful information for new Alcoholics Anonymous participants, students of 12-step programs, and the general reader curious to know how such programs operate. Cavanaugh, managing editor for Reader's Digest General Books, presents a brief overview of AA's beginnings, its connection to the Oxford movement, and its enduring steps to sobriety. "Through the years," Cavanaugh states, "the people who live a 12-step life have formed a unique culture, with a language, history, and set of customs all its own. This book attempts to document that culture." Introductory comments are followed by "Jack's Story," a prototype of addiction and recovery, as well as an alphabetic "addictionary" of AA jargon. In A Sponsorship Guide, which is set up in interview format, a group of 17 active, experienced sponsors, primarily from New York City and the West Coast, comment on issues such as same-sex sponsorship, the place of friendship in a sponsor/sponsee relationship, gay sponsorship, and qualities of a good sponsor. Each of the 12 steps is discussed, as well as various methods for working them with sponsees. Readers are assured that there are many ways to be an effective sponsor and that no one path to success exists. Included are a suggested reading list and step worksheets. Although the author remains anonymous, she reveals that she is a Los Angeles screenwriter and director.?Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

What does a codependent say to his mate when he wakes up?
"Good morning, how am I?"
--Overheard at a Codependents Anonymous meeting

Throughout the world today, more than two million alcoholics and hundreds of thousands of drug addicts, compulsive overeaters, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, codependents, and other addicts abstain from their addiction, having found a new life by practicing the 12-step program of recovery developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, their practices have evolved into a way of life--the 12-Step Culture.

"I don't remember my first meeting, but I've been told that I talked for a really long time."
--Mary, a member of Narcotics Anonymous

AA to Z is the first book to document the richness and diversity of the lives of recovering people and to provide an encyclopedic look at this unique subculture. Less self-help than enlightenment and entertainment, AA to Z is comprised of real-life stories of recovering addicts as well as an "addictionary" of recovery terminology. Everything from the well-known slogan "One Day at a Time" to more esoteric terms like "pigeon" (a lovingly insulting term for a newcomer to the program) and "Wharf Rats" (sober Deadheads) is explained with clarity, insight, and humor.

"How it works, you ask--slowly and well."
--Cooper, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous

Conversational, witty, and engaging, AA to Z is a must-have for all 12-step participants and their loved ones, and it offers the uninitiated a fascinating firsthand look at one of the most influential yet least-documented cultural movements of our time.

Product Details

  • File Size: 287 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Main Street Books; 1 edition (July 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FYZK2A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for anyone new to the 12 step culture April 25, 2000
Format:Paperback
Christopher Cavenaugh has done an excellent job of explaining various terms and slogans heard through out the 12 step journey. It is an easy to read dictionary format. Everything from the serenity prayer to the steps is broken down into easy to find definitions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Anyone in a 12 Step program June 26, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have to admit that I was mystified by many of the common phrases I'd hear in my meetings. This book really helped me understand what people were talking about. It has a lot of what the meetings have too--humor, touching stories, and profound insight. Next to the big book, this one is my favorite 12 Step book.
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