Non-Fiction Books:

With a Lot of Help from Our Friends

The Politics of Alcoholism



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With a Lot of Help from Our Friends: The Politics of Alcoholism by Nancy M. Olson

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This book tells the fascinating inside story of the period from 1970 to 1980, the most important decade in the history of alcohol legislation since Prohibition, with the famous Hughes Act as its centerpiece. We meet Harold Hughes, the charismatic senator and former governor from Iowa, a recovered alcoholic himself, and Marty Mann, the beloved "first lady of Alcoholics Anonymous" and founder of the National Council on Alcoholism. We meet Bill Wilson, the co-founder of A.A., and we hear him deliver his historic testimony before a Senate committee. The author, a participant in all she describes, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at this band of recovered alcoholics as they bared their souls before congressional hearings and succeeded in convincing a Congress and three reluctant Presidents of the United States to support this effort. We meet Academy Award winning actress Mercedes McCambridge, Senator Harrison Williams, Ways and Means chairman Wilbur Mills, and many others. This was the activist wing of the Twelve Step movement, so rarely acknowledged in spite of the enormous impact it has had. And she describes the many non-alcoholics who courageously supported them, like Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Strom Thurmond, John Stennis, Orin Hatch, along with Captain Joe Zuska who founded the Navy's treatment center at which Betty Ford, the wife of President Ford, later sought help.
Release date NZ
March 18th, 2003
Country of Publication
United States
black & white illustrations
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