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Read The Big Book and Twelve and Twelve

History of Service

The G.S.O. Archives invites you to listen to the fascinating recordings collected in “History of Service,” prepared in 2005 as a double CD set. These historical recordings include a rich selection of speeches focusing on the early development of services in Alcoholics Anonymous.
These recordings are still available for sale as a double CD set, for a price of $10. To order, we ask you to please contact the nearest Central Office or Intergroup Office. If you are unable to reach your local Central Office or Intergroup Office, please contact the General Service Office.
CD 1 – You will find a humorous narrative by A.A. co-founder Bill W., recounting the history of the early struggles of the organization as a handful of alcoholics tried to locate funds to publish the Big Book.
History of Service: The Words of Our Founders and Pioneers –Bill delivered this talk at the Texas State Convention, in June 1954. (Time: 1 hour, 25 seconds)
CD 2 – There are also four shorter audio segments describing the inspiration for the creation and growth of the general service structure.
Track 1 – recorded in 1954, Bill W. reflects on why he and Dr. Bob thought it vital for the Fellowship to create a service structure as a means of communication between groups and the Board of Trustees. (Time: 22 minutes, 12 seconds)
Track 2 – Hank G., the first part-time general manager of A.A. Headquarters, addresses the progression of A.A.’s evolving service structure. He spoke at the Oklahoma State Convention in June 1960. (Time: 8 minutes, 47 seconds)
Track 3 – contains excerpts of Robert H.’s farewell talk in 1977, upon his retirement as chairman of General Services. Robert cautions against taking A.A. for granted, and urges members to be vigilant in keeping A.A. strong and vibrant. (Time: 9 minutes, 36 seconds)
Track 4 – is a brief and powerful message by Bill W. at his last public appearance in 1970, reminding members always to be mindful of the spiritual aspects of the Fellowship. (Time: 1 minute, 40 seconds)