This book is a fascinating, in depth look at who Bill W. really was and how, from his own painful past and a strong bent for anonymity, he emerged as a powerful presence on the American scene. On a cold night in February 1951, Mel B. set out from Pontiac, Michigan, to hear a talk by Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like many who had found strength and sobriety an A.A., Mel felt a great debt of gratitude to Bill W., as well as a deep curiosity about the sort of man who had helped bring about such a vast personal and social movement. After nearly fifty years, during which time Life magazine named Bill W. one of the century's most important Americans. Mel B.'s search for Bill W. culminates in this book: a fascinating, in depth look at who Bill W. really was and how, from his own painful past and a strong bent for anonymity, he emerged as a powerful presence on the American scene. Over the years, through interviews with Bill W. and with Bill W.'s friends, colleagues, and family, Mel B. discovered not just one Bill W., but seven: the power-driving achiever, the fixer, the individualist, the entrepreneur, the communicator, the peacemaker, and the founder/statesman. All of these facets of Bill W. come together in this portrait of a remarkable man, which is also the story of his profound effect on not only the author but also countless others caught up in the search for a better life.