US of AA

US of AA
US of AA

US of AA

How the Twelve Steps Hijacked the Science of Alcoholism
By Joe Miller


208 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF, Cloth

Cloth, $26.99 (US $26.99) (CA $35.99)

ISBN 9781613739273

Rights: US, CA & MX

Chicago Review Press (Apr 2019)


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In-depth investigative reporting into the history, politics, and science of alcoholism and its treatment
In US of AA, Miller shares the never-before-told story of how in the aftermath of prohibition America’s top scientists helped launch a movement that would give rise to a multi-million-dollar treatment industry and a new government agency devoted to alcoholism that has made available millions of dollars for research. Despite the fact that this research showed that alcoholism is a complex disease requiring an array of treatment strategies, among which Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the least effective, money continued to flow to treatment facilities using approaches similar to AA. Five years in the making, his brilliant, in-depth investigative reporting into the history, politics and science of alcoholism will show how AA became our nation’s de facto treatment policy, even as evidence for more effective remedies accumulated. US of AA is a character-driven, beautifully written exposé, full of secrecy, irony, liquor industry money, the shrillest of scare tactics and, at its center, a grand deception. In the tradition of Crazy by Pete Earley, and David Goldhill’s Catastrophic Care, US of AA shines a much-needed spotlight on the addiction treatment industry. It will forever change the way we think about the entire enterprise.


"Joe Miller has the courage to tell a raw and honest story, one that he then backs up with impeccable research and storytelling. As our society is waking up to the incredible death toll of alcohol and alcoholism, US of AA is a vital book that delves into the history of where we are today and by doing so provides hope and foundation for the future." –Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life

"Joe Miller has faced his own demons. Now he dives into the world of Alcoholics Anonymous and asks the questions others do not dare: What if there are missteps in the Twelve Steps? What if AA—a program canonized by substance abusers, churches, and popular culture—does as much harm as good?" –John Archibald, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for

“A…provocative book that tells the story of how Alcoholics Anonymous grew into the gargantuan organization that we know today.”  --TheFix

"We should be skeptical of enthusiastic histories of AA and more ready to accept at face value critical histories such as Miller's."

Author Biography

Joe Miller is an award-winning journalist and author, and an associate professor of English at Columbus State University in Georgia. His first book, Cross-X: The Amazing True Story of How the Most Unlikely Team from the Most Unlikely of Places Overcame Staggering Obstacles at Home and at School to Challenge the Debate Community on Race, Power, and Education was selected as one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star and Publisher’s Weekly.