Literature, Resources, and Books on Alcoholism

Literature, Resources, and Books on Alcoholism


If you are interested in reading some books on alcoholism then it will depend entirely on what you are trying to learn.  If you are an alcoholic who is trying to learn how to get clean and sober, then you might start out with the Big Book of AA and see how you like that.  On the other hand, if you are the friend or a family member of an alcoholic, then you might start out with a book such as Mealody Beatie’s Codependent No More.

So it all depends on what your situation is and what you are trying to accomplish.

The big book of AA is not perfect and it was written a long time ago.  Some of the material is hopelessly out of date and is written from a very white male christian perspective. If you happen to be female or not in line with the target demographic that they were writing for, then you may get offended at parts of the Big Book.  For example, there is a chapter called “To Wives” that talks about how the wife of an alcoholic (alcoholics are always male, dontcha know?) should try to cater to them “after they come home from work” and not stress him out so that he will be driven to drink.  This is appalling by most standards today and is in desperate need of a rewrite.  Of course there is still good information to be found in the book and if you can get past these minor problems then there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned from reading it.

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There are other books on alcoholism of course, and you can explore and read them to your heart’s content.  Most of them are more of a commentary on alcoholism and less of a “inner workings” of the disease itself and how it affects people.  The big book still stands as a more thorough analysis of how the alcoholic behaves and the description of their obsession and compulsion.  For example, a trendy new book on alcoholism called “Undrunk” is really just one man’s sales pitch for AA, and how he went from skeptic to believer in less than a year.  In fact, the book is such a surface level read that he does not even explain exactly how this transformation came about.

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So if you are looking to read about alcoholism, then you should start with the standard references that I listed in the first paragraph.  There is plenty more to read but start with those.

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