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Many Roads One Journey [Paperback]

Charlotte S Kasl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 24 1992
From the author of Women, Sex, and Addiction, a timely and controversial second look at 12-Step programs, helping all readers to draw on the steps' underlying wisdom, adapting them to their own experiences, beliefs, and sources of strength.

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Many Roads One Journey + In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Wide-ranging and refreshing, this is a feminist, New Age critique of the Alcoholics Anonymous approach to addictions, including caffeine, nicotine and TV. Kasl ( Women, Sex and Addiction ) links addiction and treatment with chakras, nutrition and patriarchy--and she's on target. A.A.'s approach is patriarchal, okay for affluent white men but not for others, especially women, she finds. The book offers numerous, surprising examples of how A.A. meetings, slogans, traditions and steps hurt women: while it might be good for white men to humble themselves and make amends to everyone, Kasl contends that women should ignore that A.A. exhortation--they've done enough of that sort of thing already. Ultimately, everyone's recovery is based on recapturing personal power, recognizing social oppression and revering life. This guide should put some of the needful back on track. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Add Kasl to the growing number of au thors who are challenging the structure and tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its 12 steps. Other recent books on the sub ject include Jack Trimpey's The Small Book: A Revolutionary Alternative for Over coming Alcohol and Drug Dependence (De lacorte, 1992) and Christopher James's How To Stay Sober Without Religion (LJ 5/1/92). Examining AA from a feminist point of view, Kasl contends that while AA helps many maintain sobriety, its dogmat ic, male-oriented doctrines and the un yielding way in which some groups inter pret them are damaging to others, especially women. Drawing from her own experiences and those of other twelve-step pers, the author argues that the rigid de mands of some groups for strict adherence discourages rational thinking. For exam ple, a rigid demand to "admit powerless ness" or to yield to a "higher power" may harm women who are fighting to gain con trol of their lives. The author offers her own 16-step recovery model with guide lines for finding or forming alternative groups. Both lay readers and professionals will gain insight from this book. Purchase for psychology, addiction/recovery, and feminist collections.
-Linda S. Greene, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In 1935, when Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, stopped drinking alcohol, he went home to a loyal, dedicated wife, a warm home with enough food, and a circle of people who cared about him. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation - thank you, Ms. Kasl! Sept. 4 2003
By A Customer
I was raised in a family where everyone was/is involved in one or more of the 12-Step programs and was taught that attending AA and working the 12 Steps was the only way to stop drinking, or to recover from being a child of an alcoholic. In fact, to my subsequent embarassment, I have preached those rules to people without really knowing what I was talking about. But in spite of this, I have always felt uncomfortable with some of the language in the 12-Steps and other 'conference-approved literature', and this book helped me figure out WHY I was uncomfortable, and also reassured me that I wasn't going to go to hell for not being in a 12-Step program (I'm joking here, but since the 12-step 12-step philosophy is essentially my family's religion, the comparison is apt.)
This book clearly explains the history of the 12 Steps, the original intentions of Bill W. (founder of AA), the ways the steps are implemented in current 12 Step programs, and, very importantly, why they don't "work" for a lot of people (contrary to the message that one gets in AA and other step groups). She also takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of alternative recovery programs.

Despite the opinions of some other readers, I found the book very non-judgmental - Ms. Kasl doesn't tell people not to go to AA or whatever if it is working for them, and she certainly doesn't tell people that her sixteen-step method is "the way", or that you need to agree with everything she believes. She just points that, contrary to many people believe, "working the steps and going to meetings" is NOT the only way, and there are many people who have gotten and stayed sober without AA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Reading for Anyone in Recovery Feb. 12 2003
By A Customer
My only regret is that I didn't read this book years ago. Although there is much to be said for 12 step programs (especially in initial stages of recovery), many people feel excluded by them for various reasons. Sadly, they are then told by people in the addiction field and in AA that they "are not trying hard enough" or just "don't want sobriety badly enough" .
Alternatives to 12 step groups are not offered by many treatment centers and counselors so those who do not fit into the mold reeive no guidance or choices. To read a book which not only spells out other options, but sets out reasons why you may not fit in AA is affirmingAlthough I concluded years ago that I would never fit into the mold, this is the first time I have ever had my reality validated. It is refreshing to read a book in the addiction field that encourages thinking outside of the box. This book will save lives - hopefully people will realize they do not have to choose between sobriety and being part of a herd. If you are a therapist and work with alcoholics, addicts, etc. you owe it to your clients to read this book and familiarize yourself with options other than 12 step groups.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the Journey July 30 2001
I found this book very insightful and healing. I am a white male and I had to agree with most of Kasl's feminist views on how the patriarchal system is destructive in many ways. As a natural health practitioner I found one of her most valuable topics was discussing how medical science, 12 step groups and most people ignore that the mind, body, and spirit are connected. Her insights into addictions such as sugar, food, TV, sex, etc. are all right on. This book highlights how to think for yourself instead of submitting to someone elses recovery plans for you that may be damaging. I think everyone involved in therapy and 12 step programs needs to know the information in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, life-changing book. Jan. 3 2003
This is one of those rare books that can change your life. Not because it's telling you something else new you have to work on or change. Because it's telling you what you already knew before your life got off track and it's affirming your existence.
Any man or woman of color who is in any of the twelve step groups should read this book. You'll want a copy of your own you can write in and highlight as well.
You can tell this was a labour of love for the author and she is to be commended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man's View of a (primarily) Feminist Book Nov. 24 1999
At first I found Kasl's feminist rhetoric off-putting. However, continued reading convinced me that there is much validity in her analyses; her critiques of AA are convincing; much of what she writes, particularly regarding humility vs. affirmation, in the context of women and minorities, is equally applicable to many white males.
In short, a remarkable book full of good analysis, common sense and human understanding
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5.0 out of 5 stars Many Roads One Journey May 4 2000
This book is a treasure. I am a black female. I read this book last year. I was making 10,000 a year working as a clerk and, I was in a relationship with an abusive, sex addict. I attended several traditional CODA 12-step groups where they were telling everyone to become more humble, less egotistical and ask others to forgive them for all the bad things they've done and so on. I guess that works if you are a member of a group/several groups who have always had social and economic power and priviledge in America. I would always leave feeling even less self-esteem that before I came. This would have the effect of making me try even harder to put up with this "relationship". Now I understand why the 12-steps did'nt work for me. Her insight and compassion for women and other races/socio-economic groups is unbelievable! If you have found that the 12-steps are not working for you, (even if you are financially independant/white male--her approach is intelligent and loving to everyone) read her book and you may get insite that can give you strength and hope. Thank you Charlotte. Now if only I could find a group that uses the "empowerment" model she discuss in the book...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book for women with addictions.
Recommended by a therapist friend. I found it very educational and a great adjunct to the 12 step program. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jan Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowering, healing and truthful
Charlotte Kasl is a no-nonsense writer who expresses herself with wisdom, honesty and guts. Although I did not like to hear part of what I read in Many Roads... Read more
Published on May 17 2001 by Judith Light
4.0 out of 5 stars Kasl-A Different Perspective
I began reading this book on pg 261 about definitions about co-dependency then it turned into what I thought was a kind of man hating thing. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2000 by beanalamode
1.0 out of 5 stars kasl disease
This book has little to do with addiction it is instead a diatribe against males and the heterosexual family, which she has deemed to be sexist. Read more
Published on Dec 13 1999 by Ted Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned how and why women struggle in 12 step programs
I spent 5 years in AA trying to "get it". After reading Charlotte's wonderful book, it became clear that the 12 steps were written by and for individuals of a specific... Read more
Published on June 6 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - awe inspiring
I love this book! It's deep, rich, great for dipping into. It also adds much to 12 Step Thinking.
As a writer about the 12 Steps I also find it a great resource.
Published on Nov. 7 1998 by Katherine Anne Wayman
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life.
I am only sorry I didn't find this book sooner. This book is great for anyone who has been through the ringer and/or repeatedly in and out of AA or any 12-step program. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 1998
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