Medicine: Saved from Skid Row

The reformed drunkards numbered only 100 or so after four years of often-discouraging efforts when, in 1939, they decided to publish a guide to giving up alcohol. The collaborators' first choice for a title was The Way Out. But a check at the Library of Congress showed twelve previous works thus named; the authors shied at the 13th, settled instead for their second choice, Alcoholics Anonymous. It has sold 300,000 copies.

Last week the 5,000 A.A. members gathered in St. Louis had two items to celebrate: 1) their 20th anniversary, which marks their growth to a massive fellowship of 150,000 reformed alcoholics...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!