This public domain book, The Common Sense of Drinking, was read by Bill prior to the writing of the Big Book.
Peabody was mentioned in Pass it On on p.176; “Peabody, a recovered alcoholic himself, had recently died after a short but successful career as an independent lay therapist helping alcoholics on a fee basis.”
There are multiple places in the Big Book where it’s clear that Bill was deeply influenced by this book. For example, on page 85 of The Common Sense of Drinking Peabody writes; “A man must make up his mind to do everything in his power to co-operate in such work as there is to be done. Halfway measures are of no avail.” An almost identical phrase appears on page 59 of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
The key difference between Peabody’s approach and Bill’s is the spiritual angle which may explain why Peabody gets so little recognition in official AA history.
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