Drunkard's Progress

Drunkard's Progress

Narratives of Addiction, Despair, and Recovery

eBook - 1999
Rate this:
Book News
Presents excerpts of eight of the 15 examples of the genre Crowley has found from 1840s, the heyday of the Washington Temperance Society in Baltimore. Each highlights one or more themes of the movement, such as compassion, the critique of drinking customs and facilities for inebriates, inebriety as disease and insanity, and class tensions. They are not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Johns Hopkins University Press

"Twelve-step" recovery programs for a wide variety of addictive behaviors have become tremendously popular in the 1990s. According to John W. Crowley, the origin of these movements—including Alcoholics Anonymous—lies in the Washingtonian Temperance Society, founded in Baltimore in the 1840s. In lectures, pamphlets, and books (most notably John B. Gough'sAutobiography, published in 1845), recovering "drunkards" described their enslavement to and liberation from alcohol. Though widely circulated in their time, these influential temperance narratives have been largely forgotten.

In Drunkard's Progress, Crowley presents a collection of revealing excerpts from these texts along with his own introductions. The tales, including "The Experience Meeting," from T. S. Arthur'sSix Nights with the Washingtonians (1842), and the autobiographical Narrative of Charles T. Woodman, A Reformed Inebriate (1843), still speak with suprising force to the miseries of drunkenness and the joys of deliverance. Contemporary readers familiar with twelve-step programs, Crowley notes, will feel a shock of recognition as they relate to the experience, strength, and hope of these old-time—but nonetheless timely—narratives of addiction, despair, and recovery.

"I arose, reached the door in safety, and, passing the entry, entered my own room and closed the door after me. To my amazement the chairs were engaged in chasing the tables round the room; to my eye the bed appeared to be stationary and neutral, and I resolved to make it my ally; I thought it would be safest to run, as by that means I should reach it sooner, but in the attempt I found myself instantly prostrate on the floor... How long I slept I know not; but when I awoke I was still on the floor, and alone... I have since been through all the heights, and depths, and labyrinths of misery; but never, no never, have I felt again the unutterable agony of that moment. I wept, I groaned, I actually tore my hair; I did every thing but theone thing that could have saved me."—from Confessions of a Female Inebriate, excerpted inDrunkard's Progress



Publisher: Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, ©1999
ISBN: 9780801870217
0801870216
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiv, 202 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Crowley, John William 1945-

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top