E.M. Jellinek at Worcester: A Bare Beginning

Had Bill W. or Dr. Bob been employed in some capacity at Worcester State Hospital for almost a decade in the 1930s, it’s a pretty safe bet there’d be more than a little written material on that patch of their lives in the recovery movement’s literature.  E.M. Jellinek worked at Worcester for almost a decade,Continue reading “E.M. Jellinek at Worcester: A Bare Beginning”

Glatt and Popper in Helsinki: A Personal Anecdote

In June, 1975, I had the honor to represent Berkeley’s Alcohol Research Group (ARG), where I then worked, at the 21st International Institute on the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, in Helsinki.(1)  I presented a paper to the Epidemiology Section meeting (2) — a group that would later split off and become the Kettil Bruun SocietyContinue reading “Glatt and Popper in Helsinki: A Personal Anecdote”

Cherry-Picking the History of the Alcoholism Movement (1)

Sometimes useful pieces of historical evidence may be found lying around in plain sight.  A case in point concerns the relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and the disease concept of alcoholism.  In 2002, Ernest Kurtz, A.A.’s distinguished academic historian, published a well-argued article asserting that the disease concept of alcoholism was not one of A.A.’s coreContinue reading “Cherry-Picking the History of the Alcoholism Movement (1)”

Who was the First Woman in Alcoholics Anonymous, and Why Do We Care?

Historians are often asked factual questions to which we don’t know the answer, questions which, moreover, we are often predisposed against answering in the way the interlocutor expects and desires. In my case, I have been asked with some frequency, who was the first woman in Alcoholics Anonymous?  I have spent a fair bit ofContinue reading “Who was the First Woman in Alcoholics Anonymous, and Why Do We Care?”

Drinking Like a Guy? Women and Alcohol, Then and Now

I suppose it’s an occupational hazard, but I find myself surprised when I hear women today—many of whom are self-declared feminists—remark that of course female alcoholics are different.  I am brought up short by the straightforward, un-self-conscious way in which this pronouncement is made by friends and colleagues who are social scientists and clinicians.  IContinue reading “Drinking Like a Guy? Women and Alcohol, Then and Now”

The Points Interview: Erika Dyck

For our third installment of the Points Interview, we move from alcohol to LSD, and a conversation with Erika Dyck, author of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD From Clinic to Campus. Erika is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Readers interested in more compelling work in the history of medicine andContinue reading “The Points Interview: Erika Dyck”

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