To those now in its fold, Alcoholics Anonymous has made the difference between misery and sobriety, and often the difference between life and death. A.A. can, of course, mean just as much to uncounted alcoholics not yet reached.
Therefore, no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.
The 12 Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous are, we A.A.’s believe, the best answers that our experience has yet given to those ever-urgent questions, How can A.A. best function?â€ and, â€œHow can A.A. best stay whole and so survive?â€
On the next page, A.A.’s 12 Traditions are seen in their so-called short form, the form in general use today. This is a condensed version of the original â€œlong formâ€ A.A. Traditions as first printed in 1946. Because the â€œlong formâ€ is more explicit and of possible historic value, it is also reproduced.