The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Textbook to the Steps

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, aka 12 and 12, is the textbook to the Steps. Written in 1952, mostly by Bill W., this slim volume gives details about working all 12 Steps. It also tells us about the Traditions. Although it was written long after the Big Book, the 12 and 12 is also part of the original source material for any 12 Step Program

The Steps are how we work our program; the Traditions are how our fellowships work. This book will answer many questions about both, and provide you a way to work with each.

With love, blessings and gratitude,

Anne W., 12 Step Blogger

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    • http:/ Damon

      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is NOT the textbook to the steps. That fact can be found right within the book itself. On p. 17, it says, “The book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ became the basic text of the Fellowship, and it still is. The present volume proposes to broaden and deepen the understanding of the Twelve Step as first written in the earlier work.”

      The dustcover of Alcoholics Anonymous lists other literature of the Fellowship with a brief description. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is explained there as “An interpretive commentary on the A.A. program by a co-founder.” Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions contains essays about the steps, written by Bill Wilson alone (as opposed to Alcoholics Anonymous, which the Fellowship weighed in on). It came out thirteen years after people were getting and staying sober based on the directions in Alcoholics Anonymous.

      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions can be a helpful book if used as an aid to understanding. But it does not contain the directions. If you’re looking for a textbook, you’re going to want to turn to the book that was written to serve that function:

      “To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.”
      - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.xiii, Foreword to First Edition

      “You may already have asked yourself why it is that all of us became so very ill from drinking. Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking – ‘What do I have to do?’
      It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically.”
      - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.20, There Is a Solution

      Hope someone finds this helpful!

      Peace & Love,

    • Terry W.

      A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous tells how members recover and how the society functions. It’s right on the cover. How clear doe’s it have to be. Stop trying to kill people with misinformation. Look at the forth Step and see if you can answer the hard questions he came up with after more spritual growth. You are no Bill W.

    • John C

      The 12 and 12 in Bill’s words is for alcoholics who seriously want to recover, it has far more details than the big book. If attention is paid to the big book it is written in past tense, here what we did. It also tells who we are but the big book is incomplete for the whole AA program so stated on page 164. We only know a little…… 12 and 12 has more depth into recovery with more explanation on the steps and traditions and Bill did not compromise on the 12 and 12 like he did on the big book.