ON THE BLOCK: THE BIG BOOK AUC­TION

Forbes - - CONTENTS -

Now up for bid: the man­u­script, first pub­lished in 1939, that be­came a 12-step guide to life and re­cov­ery for those in Al­co­holics Anony­mous.

THE 161-PAGE MAN­U­SCRIPT for the work that be­came the bi­ble to mil­lions in re­cov­ery is go­ing up for auc­tion on June 8. Known to those in Al­co­holics Anony­mous as the Big Book, the typed doc­u­ment was writ­ten by Wil­liam Grif­fith Wil­son (a.k.a. Bill W.) and features his hand-scrawled notes, as well as the re­moval of an apostro­phe from the ti­tle.

First pub­lished in 1939, the text in­tro­duced the fa­mous 12-step pro­gram used to com­bat ad­dic­tion. Bill W. left the man­u­script—which has a pre­sale es­ti­mate of be­tween $2 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion—to his wife fol­low­ing his death in 1971. Pro­files in His­tory, the firm be­hind the auc­tion, will dis­play it at the Que­stroyal Fine Art gallery in New York May 18–20. And if there is any po­etry to the sale of this sa­cred text, the buyer will be anony­mous.

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