This is the definitive work on the Reverend Canon Samuel Moor Shoemaker, Jr., and his relationship with and contributions to Alcoholics Anonymous and its founder William Griffith Wilson. Prior to the writing of the first edition of this book, few in or out of A.A. had any idea what Bill Wilson really meant when a called Sam Shoemaker a “cofounder” of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this book, however, you will learn the details about Sam Shoemaker, about his participation in and leadership of the American activities of the Oxford Group, his activities in both Calvary Episcopal Church in New York and Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. The book reviews almost every one of Sam’s more than 30 published titles as well as many of his articles and sermons. It shows his towering stature as a life-changer, both in early A.A. and later in the Pittsburgh businessmen’s scene. Bill Wilson said that Shoemaker had taught Bill and Bob almost all the subjects encompassed in A.A.’s last of the ten Twelve Steps. This book reveals that Bill actually asked Shoemaker to write those steps, but that Shoemaker declined. The reader will see the great resemblance between A.A. Big Book language and the language which Shoemaker used so often in his writings. The personal friendship between Bill and Sam is covered at length. And, in connection with the Second Edition, author Dick B. and his son traveled to the home of one of Shoemaker’s daughters to view Sam’s personal journal entries about Bill and other early A.A. figures. They then traveled to the Episcopal Church Archives in Austin, Texas, and there searched through 58 boxes of papers that disclosed Shoemaker’s correspondence with Wilson, with Roman Catholic priests, with Oxford Group members, and with many others. The appendices in the book are wide-spread in detail and coverage. They include observations by Oxford Group people, by Lois Wilson, by Wilson, and others. And, in all, they enable the reader to see this clergyman who was named as one of the leading American preachers just as Bill Wilson and the many Shoemaker admirers saw the man. There are also the articles by Shoemaker about A.A. and the contents of his talks to AAs at their international conventions in St. Louis and Long Beach. Three notable people contributed Forewords to this book–Mrs. W. Irving Harris, wife of Shoemaker’s assistant minister, who was a resident of Calvary House where Shoemaker lived and was the steward of the Oxford Group and Shoemaker books sold there; Mrs. Nickie Shoemaker Haggart, Shoemaker’s younger daughter, who told of her father’s affection for AAs and for Bill; and the distinguished former professor of chemical dependency and counseling at Penn State University, Dr. Karen Plavan. There is simply nothing as important, as comprehensive, or as useful for the study of Bill Wilson’s formulation of the Big Book as this study of Wilson and Shoemaker.
Paperback New 1994 Edition