Bill Wilson's gospelNew York Times columnist David Brooks looks at the co-founder of AA here.
new issue of CASQ (2009)Edited by Jared Lobdel, vol. 4, no. 3 (April-May-June 2009) of CASQ Culture Alcohol & Society Quarterly has recently been posted online. Details later.
Commonplace books and surrendered masculinity in AA (article)Trysh Travis, "'Handles to Hang on to Our Sobriety': Commonplace Books and Surrendered Masculinity in Alcoholics Anonymous," Men and Masculinities 12 (October 2009): 201-224.
CASQ: Culture, Alcohol and Society QuarterlyCASQ: Culture, Alcohol and Society Quarterly: Newsletter of Kirk/CAAS Collection at Brown [University], vol. 4, no. 2 (Jan., Feb., March 2009) has been published. It includes a preview of a session at the May 20-23, 2010 inaugural meeting of the Conference of 19th cent. Americanists, "Washingtonian Transformation in Antebellum Literature, the Arts, and Culture: Imagination, Rhetoric and Semiotics." Papers will be presented by Richard Bell, Ric Caric, Peter Molin, W.R. Sutton, and Graham Wander. It also includes (pp. 7-19) an article about problems in writing the history in or of Alcoholics Anonymous (by CASQ editor Jared Lobdell). There is much else in this issue (such as a sketch of Irish-Americans and drink and drugs).
Tea and the tea-table in 18th-cent England (book)
Markham Ellis and others, eds., Tea and the Tea-Table in Eighteenth-Century England (Pickering and Ellis, forthcoming 2010).
Cultural history of the recovery movement (book)
In The Language of the Heart Trysh Travis explores the rich cultural history of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its offshoots and the larger "recovery movement" that has grown out of them. Moving from AA's beginnings in the mid-1930s as a men's fellowship that met in church basements to the thoroughly commercialized addiction treatment centers of today, Travis chronicles the development of recovery and examines its relationship to the broad American tradition of self-help, highlighting the roles that gender, mysticism, and print culture have played in that development.
Travis draws on hitherto unexamined materials from AA's archives as well as a variety of popular recovery literatures. Her analysis traces AA's embrace of the concept of addiction as disease, the rise of feminist sobriety discourse and the codependence theories of the 1970s and 80s, and Oprah Winfrey's turn-of-the-millennium popularization of metaphysical healing. What unites these varied cultures of recovery, Travis argues, is their desire to offer spiritual solutions to problems of gender and power.
Treating self-help seekers as individuals whose intellectual and aesthetic traditions are worth excavating, The Language of the Heart is the first book to attend to the evolution and variation found within the recovery movement and to treat recovery with the attention to detail that its complexity requires.
Book review in the Indianapolis Star
The story of Indiana prohibitionist and power broker Rev. Edward Shumaker (not AA proponent Rev. Sam Shoemaker) is the topic of Jason Lantzer's PhD thesis, now released as a book (mentioned here last month) "Prohibition is Here to Stay", Notre Dame Press, 2009. The book review by Russ Pulliam can be accessed here. The link to the publisher's webpage for the book is here.
New issue of CASQ
CASQ, 3/8 (July/August/September 2008) was recently published. It's edited by Jared Lobdell. The initials stand for Culture Alcohol & Society Quarterly: Newsletter of the Kirk/CAAS Collections at Brown.
CASQ vol. 3, no. 6 published
Culture, Alcohol & Society Quarterly: Newsletter of Kirk/CAAS Collections at Brown [University), vol. 3, no. 6, January/February/March 2008 has been published as a PDF file. Jared Lobdell is editor.
AA's Dr. Bob honored
About 2000 people, some on motorcycles, came to an Akron, Ohio, cemetary on Founder's Day to honor Dr. Robert Smith, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. For details, see here.