In this book, I explore what I consider to be the vast, still-largely untapped, potential of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step movement, beyond addictions, for great good in the world. In doing so, I write about the clash of the ideas of Charles Darwin - particularly his almost exclusive emphasis on the destructive, competitive, "struggle for existence" - and those of his contemporary, the little-known Russian, Peter Kropotkin. Kropotkin wrote, quite conclusively, that mutual aid is a larger factor of evolution than is competition. There are many similarities, spiritually and structurally, I argue too, between the mutual aid practiced by First Nations and Twelve Step societies. I am led, thus, to a firm belief in the ancient power of mutual aid. In conclusion, I agree with Bill W., the primary founder of A.A.: "[S]piritual rebirth may be the only alternative to extinction."
Born on the Canadian prairies, James Duncan has worked in the environmental field with Agriculture Canada, Environment Canada, and as a Cuso International land use planner in Africa. More lately, he have been involved in community development, a natural outgrowth of his training at Guelph, related also to further training in social work, an MSW (Social Policy) from Carleton University. He continues to write, and hopes to publish another book soon, The African Diaries.