Editor’s Note: Points readers who enjoyed Ernie Kurtz’s post of a few weeks back, which talked about the challenges and subtleties of “AA History,” may be interested in the following announcement from Glenn Chesnut, moderator of the AA History Lovers listerv and founder of the Hindsfoot Foundation, “a not-for-profit organization founded in 1993 for the publication of materials on the history and theory of alcoholism treatment and the moral and spiritual dimensions of recovery.”
As its regular visitors know, the Hindsfoot site is an amazing trove of high-quality primary and secondary sources– reproductions of essential documents and images plus original, thorough, and carefully-sourced writings by a range of scholars, including Chesnut himself, Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies at Indiana University, South Bend. Hindsfoot’s considerable riches are compounded by the addition of the materials discussed below.
From the AA History Lovers Listserv:
Ernie Kurtz has very graciously allowed the articles in his book The Collected Ernie Kurtz to be made available online for anyone who wishes to download and read them. The volume contains twelve never-before published articles by the master of AA history, published in 1999 by The Bishop of Books and reprinted in June 2008 by Hindsfoot (ISBN 978-0- 595-52099-2).
FOUR OF THESE ESSAYS are now available for downloading (the other eight will be posted as soon as they are formatted for the internet):
- “Drugs and the Spiritual: Bill W. Takes LSD”
- “‘Spiritual Rather Than Religious’: The Contribution of Alcoholics Anonymous”
- “Research on Alcoholics Anonymous: The Historical Context”
- “Alcoholics Anonymous: A Phenomenon in American Religious History“
Ernie is one of the most important figures of the second generation of AA writers and thinkers. In him we see the intersection between (on the one hand) traditional AA thought and the convictions of someone who has always remained at heart a committed Catholic and a deeply conservative religious thinker and (from the other side) the world of twentieth century existentialism and the great American intellectual ferment of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
For those who need their resources vetted by “real” intellectuals, David Foster Wallace owned The Collected Ernie Kurtz and annotated it heavily, as Points pointed out last spring– Ed.