Mr. Kurtz was given almost unprecendented access to the files and archives, both public and private of Alcoholics Anonymous. His research has produced what I believe is a most inciteful reference work detailing the early days of AA and its precursors, and critical looks at the founders and their motives. Folks I have spoken to who knew the characters detailed in the book tell me he it "right on the money" about their intentions and, in Bill W.'s case, their foibles.
I have spent many years sitting in AA rooms listening to members discuss how or why AA works. I believe that Mr. Kurtz offered two insites in his book that say it best: "AA seems to be so successful because it begins to treat the alcoholic the minute he walks in the door with no thought as to how he got there." and "AA tries to teach its members to act their way into a new way of thinking, rather than think their way into a new way of acting." I've quoted those lines many times and have been told how astute I was. Any book that can make ME look astute is sure, through its reading to make some others look like absolute geniuses.
Not always easy to read, sometimes bulky. But so is sobriety.