The first AA book, Alcoholics Anonymous, was published in 1939 and has been a perennial best-seller ever since. When work began on the manuscript, there were about 40 alcoholics who had maintained sobriety; by the time it was published in the Spring of 1939, there were seventy-plus. While several titles for the book were proposed (including "The Way Out", which was already in use), Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob finally settled on Alcoholics Anonymous. The fellowship itself eventually took its name from the book. The first edition had a "circus cover" of red and yellow, and it was printed in heavy paper and large size, which was thought to make it more saleable—hence the nickname "Big Book", a name that sticks today even though AA has published it in a more conventional size.
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