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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The Little Red Book,Dr Bob thought it was the best description of how to work the steps that had ever been written.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 ED WEBSTER wrote The Little Red Book, which had a chapter explaining how to work each of the twelve steps. Dr. Bob thought it was the best...
 ED WEBSTER wrote The Little Red Book, which had a chapter explaining how to work each of the twelve steps. Dr. Bob thought it was the best description of how to work the steps that had ever been written. He sent copies of it all over the U.S. and Canada with his recommendation. Until Dr. Bob's death in 1950, he insisted that the New York A.A. office make copies of this book available for sale through their office.

The Little Red book went through a series of editions: the most important are the first edition which came out in 1946, followed by the two 1947 editions, a 1948 edition, and a 1949 edition which had two printings. At every step in the process, Dr. Bob was putting handwritten notes on the books and manuscripts, giving Ed his suggestions for changes and revisions, all of which Ed incorporated. Dr. Bob (unlike Bill W.) was not a writer, so The Little Red Book is the closest thing we have to knowing how Dr. Bob taught newcomers, and what he thought they ought to know about the twelve steps and how to work them in order to get sober and stay sober for the rest of your life.

Ed Webster got sober in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on December 13, 1941. He and his A.A. friend Barry Collins formed their own little A.A. publishing company, called the Coll-Webb Co., where they printed and distributed copies of this book under the sponsorship of the Nicollet Group in Minneapolis until Ed's death in 1971.

After Dr. Bob's death in 1950, Bill W. wanted to write his own, more highly philosophical discussion of the steps, which would be very different from The Little Red Book (going at it in a way which Dr. Bob would undoubtedly have been suspicious of). Bill W. published this in 1952-3 as the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. He had grave difficulties obtaining the money to print that book, and after it was published, he insisted that the New York A.A. office put its full weight into pushing his book over The Little Red Book, so they would not have a warehouse full of his own unsold books.

Nevertheless, there are many good oldtimers who will tell you that they would never have gotten sober if they had tried to deal with the 12 & 12 right away, when they first came in. It was too complicated, and their minds were still befuddled and confused with the aftereffects of too many years of drinking. They will tell you that they got sober on two books basically -- the Big Book and the 24 Hour book -- followed by a study of the steps in The Little Red Book and the little early A.A. pamphlet called the Tablemate.
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