The Road to Fellowship

Richard M. Dubiel

Richard M. Dubiel, The Road to Fellowship: The Role of the Emmanuel Movement and the Jacoby Club in the Development of Alcoholics Anonymous, January 2004, ISBN 0-595-30740-X, xvi + 192 pp., $17.95..

The Emmanuel Movement and the Jacoby Club, founded in Boston in 1906 and 1909, were enormously popular movements which had thirty years of impressive success in treating alcoholics. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, they were also based on fellowship among recovering alcoholics and involved a synthesis between lay psychological counseling and spirituality. Professor Dubiel shows us the many dimensions of that fascinating world of early twentieth century thought, which supplied such an important part of the cultural seedbed out of which the founders of A.A. gathered their ideas.

He also traces the indirect influence of the Emmanuel Movement on early A.A. through Rowland Hazard III and Richard R. Peabody, and the more direct influence of the Jacoby Club through early Boston A.A., which began in 1940 in the Jacoby Club quarters at 159 Newbury Street and was originally linked to them rather than the Oxford Group. The influence of this Boston-style A.A. was subsequently passed on to the rest of the United States through the second most published A.A. author, Richmond Walker and his Twenty-Four Hours a Day book.

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About the Author

Richard M. Dubiel, author of the standard history of the Emmanuel Movement and Jacoby Club
THE AUTHOR is Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, where he teaches public relations and ethics. He received a B.A. in English from the Pennsylvania State University and earned his Ph.D. in English and Philosophy from Purdue University. He has also done graduate work in religious studies at Drew University and Indiana University.

Richard M. Dubiel, "Sober Sleuths: Lawrence Block and James Lee Burke" (1999), discusses the life and writings of two best-selling authors of detective fiction, and their fictional heroes Matthew Scudder and Dave Robicheaux, who are portrayed in the novels in sensitive and insightful fashion as alcoholics who got sober in A.A.

Richard M. Dubiel, "Paul Tillich: Key Philosophical Theologian of the Mid-Twentieth Century" (1999), describes the parallels between this figure's thought and early A.A. belief. Tillich was a colleague of the great American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (author of the Serenity Prayer) at Union Theological Seminary in New York City from 1933 to 1955, during that formative period in early A.A. history when A.A. people were so strongly under the influence of the theological and religious scene in that city.