Medicine: Life Membership

The organization of ex-drinkers known as Alcoholics Anonymous last week was rounding out its twelfth year. Taking stock, it found that it had 35,000 members and 1,200 chapters (including outposts in Canada and Latin America). It was picking up new members at the rate of 1,000 a month. In the last few months, A.A.'s stock among doctors and an estimated 750,000 U.S. alcoholics had climbed fast.

A.A. was founded twelve years ago by a still-anonymous Manhattan stockbroker, known only as Bill, and an alcoholic Akron doctor. The organization has no officers, no dues, no big funds (its small Manhattan headquarters last...

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