This anthology of letters spans seven decades of Grapevine publication and resembles a lively AA conversation among sober alcoholics.
Alcoholics are opinionated; that doesn’t change when they stop drinking. Some of the most interesting and enlightened writing about sobriety, drinking, sponsorship and the Steps and Traditions begins with missives entitled: “Dear Grapevine.”
You’ll enjoy Grapevine readers writing about their favorite topics, offering a piece of their minds to editors and others AAs and in general taking part in the spirited colloquy that helps make Grapevine AA’s “meeting in print.”
As one correspondent writes: “How is anyone going to get to know and love the ‘real me’ unless I open up my heart and mind to my AA friends and family?”
The History of The AA Grapevine Magazine / Newsletter
The Grapevine was created by six AA members in the New York area — four women and two men. With the blessings of AA’s co-founder Bill W., they published the first issue in June 1944, just nine years after the founding of AA. A copy of that first issue was sent to every AA group — about 300 at the time — and to all known AA members in the armed services overseas. An entire page with the heading, “Mail Call for All AAs in the Armed Forces,” was devoted to letters from these members, who began calling the Grapevine their “meeting in print.” The title stuck, and today the Grapevine and La Viña carry it on their covers.
At the heart of the early Grapevines, then as now, were first-person stories. There were also news and notes on current happenings at the Central Office, plus reports of the explosion of new groups in North America and around the world. In addition to AA news, there were book reviews and magazine reprints and pieces written by nonAAs, including some well-known literary figures. Discussed were such burning topics of the day as the place of women in AA, returning veterans, and cross-addiction.