The Story Behind The Little Red Book The Evolution of a Twelve Step Classic. Discover how the author of The Little Red Book–and the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous–brought its enduring wisdom to millions in recovery. Inspired by Step Twelve–to “carry the message” to others–AA visionary Ed Webster began in the 1940s to compile some Twelve Step insights for newcomers to the Fellowship, using his home group as a sounding board. AA historian Damian McElrath tells the lively story behind the book that has helped millions put the Steps to work in their daily lives. We see how Webster’s ideas evolved, revealed by the margin notes in his own copy of The Little Red Book. His letters with Bill W. and Dr. Bob reveal how AA’s founders helped ignite the book’s popularity among those in recovery. As the book went back to press dozens of times, Webster’s revisions show both the staying power of the heart of the work and the flexibility of the author and his supporters as they grew and learned on their own recovery journeys.