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Auction of rare Alcoholics Anonymous manuscript announced

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/12/2017
This undated image released by Profiles in History shows the title page of a manuscript that would become the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” which includes stories and strategies for controlling addiction. The 161-page typed manuscript includes handwritten notes by Alcoholics Anonymous founders, including co-founder William Griffith Wilson. It will be displayed at a New York City gallery for three days in May 2017 before being sold at auction in June in California in a sale that is expected to top $2 million. (Broad Highway Publishing Co. via AP) © The Associated Press This undated image released by Profiles in History shows the title page of a manuscript that would become the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” which includes stories and strategies for controlling addiction. The 161-page typed manuscript includes handwritten notes by Alcoholics Anonymous founders, including co-founder William Griffith Wilson. It will be displayed at a New York City gallery for three days in May 2017 before being sold at auction in June in California in a sale that is expected to top $2 million. (Broad Highway Publishing Co. via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A 161-page typed manuscript that became the guiding text of Alcoholics Anonymous will get its first public exhibition next month before being sold at auction.

This undated image released by Profiles in History shows the first chapter of a manuscript that would become the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” which includes stories and strategies for controlling addiction. The 161-page typed manuscript includes handwritten notes by Alcoholics Anonymous founders, including co-founder William Griffith Wilson, whose personal experiences are told in the first chapter titled “Bill’s Story.” Profiles in History announced Wednesday, April 12, 2017, that the manuscript will be publicly displayed in New York in May and will likely sell for more than $2 million when it goes up for auction in June. (Broad Highway Publishing Co. via AP) © The Associated Press This undated image released by Profiles in History shows the first chapter of a manuscript that would become the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” which includes stories and strategies for controlling addiction. The 161-page typed manuscript includes handwritten notes by Alcoholics Anonymous founders, including co-founder William Griffith Wilson, whose personal experiences are told in the first chapter titled “Bill’s Story.” Profiles in History announced Wednesday, April 12, 2017, that the manuscript will be publicly displayed in New York in May and will likely sell for more than $2 million when it goes up for auction in June. (Broad Highway Publishing Co. via AP)

The auction firm Profiles in History announced Wednesday that it will sell the 161-page typed manuscript on June 8 in California. The document is expected to fetch $2-3 million. It will be displayed for three days at the Questroyal Fine Art gallery in Manhattan from May 18-20, giving the public a glimpse at the text that is known to AA adherents as the "Big Book."

The manuscript includes numerous handwritten notes, some of which were made by Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders William Griffith Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Wilson, who is known within the group as Bill W., left the manuscript to his wife, Lois, when he died in 1971. The manuscript's title page includes an editing mark to strike an apostrophe from the suggested title, "Alcoholic's Anonymous."

First published in 1939, the tome includes the famous 12-step program aimed at stopping addiction. It has sold more than 30 million copies and in 2012 was named by the Library of Congress as one of the 88 "Books That Shaped America."

The manuscript was reproduced in 2010 for a release, "The Book That Started It All."

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