Happy (AA Historical) New Year: Roundtable on the Work of Glenn C.

Glenn C., 2016

With a nod to everyone who’s decided to abstain from alcohol in the new year, Points is kicking off 2018 with a tribute to one of Alcoholics Anonymous’s most talented historians, Glenn C., founder of the Hindsfoot Press (1993) and long-time moderator of the AA History Lovers listserv (fd. 2002). I first “met” Glenn through the listserv while working on my book about the history of 12-step recovery in the early 2000s.  In what was at that time a veritable wild west of self-published print and online AA discourse, it was invaluable to have someone like Glenn as a guide: a professor of History with a PhD from Oxford as well as a Divinity degree, with a long history of publishing about AA (and moderating AA history disputes!). His mentoring was unfailingly graceful and insightful.

Nearly twenty years later, I had the honor of presenting with him at the Sedona Mago AA History Symposium in the spring of 2017. Nearly every speaker at Sedona noted their personal debt to Glenn as well as to the intellectual community of the History Lovers listserv and to the invaluable resources made available by Hindsfoot. The moment seemed right to make that sense of gratitude public. Over the next few Thursdays, Points will present commentaries on Glenn’s work and influence from AA Historians Art S., Richard Dubiel, Bill White, and Jackie B. Glenn will then comment on their comments, and after that, who knows what will happen.

2 thoughts on “Happy (AA Historical) New Year: Roundtable on the Work of Glenn C.”

  1. What I remember about the AA History Lovers Yahoo group (of which I was a member for a time) was that it wasn’t really a discussion forum, unlike (for example) the without_aa groups of which I was a moderator. Glenn would simply post a query he had received, respond to it, and invite others to do likewise. Any comments that were critical of AA orthodoxy were deleted in short order.

    Nevertheless, I’m sure he was doing his best as he understood it, and may he rest in peace.

  2. Uh…substantive issues aside, Glenn C. is not dead! He’s alive, well, and living in sunny California, from which he’ll be posting his reply to this roundtable in a few weeks. Stay tuned! –Trysh Travis

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