College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

History Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in History



Primary Advisor

Thomas R. Trice, College of Liberal Arts, History Department


In 1939, Bill Wilson and his peers published Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, and in doing so, codified a spiritual gift economy through which millions of people have recovered from alcoholism and other addictions. This project examines the pragmatic formulation of this economy and argues its origins were driven as much by self-interest as altruism. It further explores the syncretic leadership of Bill Wilson and his mark on "The Big Book."

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