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Bill W: The absorbing and deeply moving life story of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous Paperback – August 31, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Absorbing and Deeply Moving Life Story of Bill Wilson, Co-Fo
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (August 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568383436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568383439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Thomsen is a contributor for the following Hazelden Title: Bill W.

Customer Reviews

Will recommend to anyone going through rehab for any addiction.
Tay
Bill W is well written, with surprisingly detailed insights, into the childhood, psyche, motivations, influences and drives of a fascinating man.
Steven Sponaugle
I ordered my used copy of Bill W.: The Absorbing and Deeply Moving Story of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous for a steal.
Miss Howe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Michna on December 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a "friend" of Bill and Dr. Bob since Christmas 1990, and have read a lot of material, both "conference approved" and other, and this biography of Bill W. ranks among the best, but it definitely gives the impression of being written from Bill's perspective.

Fully half the book is devoted to Bill's childhood and early adulthood, through his marriage to Lois and up to the fateful encounter with Dr. Bob, and so this fleshes out that portion of his life. I was disappointed, however, in that the impact and devastation of Bill's many (and prolonged) drinking binges seemed somewhat minimized with regard to their impact on the lives of Bill and Lois as a young married couple. Perhaps Bill simply had a poor recollection of these episodes, as he was not in great condition to remember these things, and so these are not fully reflected in Thomsen's work.

The latter half of Thomsen's book deals with better known AA history, but as a biography of Bill's life, my impression is this book glosses over the other human frailties of Bill, and so does not present as complete a picture as it could of this remarkable man. I think the reader would be more impressed with Bill's life accomplishments if more of his human "character defects" were revealed in this book.

I strongly suggest also reading Francis Hartigan's "Bill W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson" to help fill in the deficiencies and areas not covered by Robert Thomsen. Hartigan's book better presents Lois Wilson's perspective, and more completely covers topics such as the terrible impact of Bill's binges on his business ventures and marriage, Bill's infidelities, his long periods of depression, Bill's exploration of the potential therapeutic uses of LSD and Niacin for the treatment of alcoholism, and does a better job, in my opinion, painting a more full picture of Bill Wilson.

DD...GTM... RTBB
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Theede on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a long time member of AA, and knew quite a bit about Bill Wilson prior to reading this book. But I have found out so much more than I expected to from the book, and it is very well written. I can recommend this highly to anyone wanting to know more about the man who founded one of the most important organizations of the 20th Century.

- John T, San Francisco, CA
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Format: Paperback
Bill W describes how an extremely motivated, accomplished student, athlete and successful business man, became a hopeless alcoholic, experienced a spiritual miracle, became sober and founded Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill W is well written, with surprisingly detailed insights, into the childhood, psyche, motivations, influences and drives of a fascinating man. The author, Robert Thomsen, obviously performed extensive research, to obtain the extensive biographical information contained in this book. Bill's family history, numerous business successes and failures along with his gradual descent into alcoholism are described along with numerous attempts to control his binge drinking.

The evolution of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps, from the 10 step Oxford Group are chronicled, almost step by step, along with numerous controversies and dilemmas,confronting the founders as they learned how to work effectively with alcoholics and ensure the spread and perpetuation of their movement. The history of failed attempts to obtain corporate sponsorship for Alcoholics Anonymous and the adoption of AA principles including anonymity, self supporting groups and no opinion on outside issues are well described.

Bill W suffered anxiety, panic attacks, depression and appears to have been hypoglycemic. He ultimately learned how to treat his alcoholism, depression and hypoglycemia nutritionally, with results surpassing his initial spiritual efforts. Would Bill W have become an alcoholic, if he had received adequate treatment for hypoglycemia, depression, and anxiety ? Unfortunately, his attempts to incorporate nutritional, medical and scientific advances into Alcoholics Anonymous were rejected by the International Board of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa K. Salamone on May 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're having doubts about your chances of success with sobriety, just read Bill's story! His ups and downs, trials and tribulations, surely prove that if he can do it, anyone can!
Shipping was speedy & pricing was awesome!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Howe on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have a passion for the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W.: The Absorbing and Deeply Moving Story of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous is a book you should own. I think the importance of a recovering alcoholic to be familiar with the history of Alcoholics Anonymous is imperative. Bill Wilson was a tortured soul for many, many years of his life. His story is filled with success, hardships, despair, hope, alcoholism and most of all truth. If it were not for Bill W. there would be no Alcoholics Anonymous today and millions of alcoholics would have died unnecessarily. Robert Thomsen tells the story of how a man rose, fell, and rose again in a different light. I ordered my used copy of Bill W.: The Absorbing and Deeply Moving Story of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous for a steal. The book arrived at my house just fourteen days after I purchased it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Lenoue on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great story about a great pioneer that changed modern day American and has even influenced the world with what he's done.
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Bill W: The absorbing and deeply moving life story of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
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