AA manuscript to be displayed at 2019 Circle of Hope

April 11th, 2019

Kyle Morris, Circle of Hope Committee member, and Barbara Elliott, Fairbanks president and CEO, recently appeared on WISH-TV’s Indy Style show for a live segment to talk about the 2019 Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner.

Among the highlights of this year’s Circle of Hope is a display of the original working manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous, courtesy of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

According to Hazelden Publishing, the original working manuscript is the missing link in the understanding of what transpired between AA founder Bill Wilson’s first draft of Alcoholics Anonymous and the first published edition.

In January 1939, Wilson and other AA founders distributed 400 copies of his typescript to everyone they could think of “who might be concerned with the problem of alcoholism,” to test out the program. As the loan copies were returned, suggestions for revision were considered and written out in colored pencil on one master copy that was eventually submitted for publication. The many changes made in black, green, and red on page after page are shown here in their original form, revealing the opinions, debates, and discussions that went into making the Big Book.

The Alcoholics Anonymous book, published in 1939, has stats most authors dream of: 30 million+ copies sold. Translated into 67 languages. Ranked No. 10 in 2012 by the Library of Congress in its top 25 “Books That Shaped America.” In 2018 Irsay, who attended his first AA meeting more than 25 years ago, bought it at an auction for $2.4 million. For several months a year he allows for it to be displayed at Alcoholics Anonymous headquarters in New York. For the first time, it will be displayed in Indianapolis at Circle of Hope on April 18.

Tickets are still available for the 2019 Circle of Hope. Visit FairbanksCircleOfHope.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Watch a video of the Indy Style interview with Morris and Elliott and watch another video about the original AA manuscript below.