Episode 215: Modern 12 Step Recovery, by Glenn Rader

Modern 12 Step Recovery: Alcoholics Anonymous for the 21st Century, published in January 2021, provides a contemporary introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps. In this episode, I had a conversation with the author, Glenn Rader who talked about why he thinks it’s important that AA and the Twelve Steps be framed within the context of modern psychology.

What we talked about

  • Glenn’s background.
  • His motivation for writing the book.
  • The flexibility of Twelve-Step programs.
  • Importance of a more modern presentation of AA and the Twelve Steps.
  • The science behind addiction.
  • Definition of recovery.
  • The psychology behind the Twelve Steps.
  • How to work the Steps.
  • Reaction to the book.


Modern 12 Step Recovery Amazon Listing
Stop—Things You MUST Know Before Trying to Help Someone with Addiction
The Modern 12 Steps pdf file.
Step Four Process Guide
Standard Readings at AA Meetings 

My Review

Modern 12 Step Recovery: Alcoholics Anonymous for the 21st Century
By Glenn Rader
Published January 17, 2021
Independently Published
143 Pages
ISBN-13: 979-8574281987

Imagine a woman. She’s thirty-five years old, her drinking has been out of control for several years, and finally, she has reached the point where she is ready to ask for help. She googles “Alcoholics Anonymous,” and she clicks on the link “What is AA?” Her heart sinks with disappointment when her attention is drawn to a book written more than 80 years ago. Glenn Rader’s Modern 12 Step Recovery: Alcoholics Anonymous for the 21st Century was written for people like her.

With this book, Glenn Rader introduces Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps in a historical context. He guides the reader through the current science of addiction, followed by a description of the recovery process. Rader understands the Twelve Steps from his own experience as a person in long-term recovery. However, his belief in the Twelve Step’s effectiveness is based on his research into cognitive-behavioral therapy. The author’s personal experience and research come together in the final two chapters with an action plan and workbook.

Modern 12 Step Recovery: Alcoholics Anonymous for the 21st Century takes a respectful tone towards AA—arguably the most successful mutual aid group in history. The author recognizes how intelligent and thoughtful were AA’s founders who, as laypeople, seem to have stumbled upon something that today can be supported by science.

This book is not only well-written and researched, but it’s also original. Having read several books that interpret the Twelve Steps into secular language and describe the AA program in purely practical terms, this book explains why the Twelve Steps can be helpful. I have over three decades of experience with the Twelve Steps, and after reading this book, I came to understand them in a way I never previously considered.

Modern 12 Step Recovery is an important work in the library of recovery literature that will become essential reading for anyone interested in Twelve-Step recovery. I would recommend it to the person fresh out of treatment or 12-Step groups to read from during meetings. This book will become a friend to those who struggle with the ancient language found in the original AA literature and can even teach an old-timer like me a thing or two.

Five Stars

This book was rated on the author’s credibility, content, writing style, and overall value to the reader.

  • The author knows his subject, and the book is well-sourced.
  • The writing is exceptional. Clear, concise, and flows well.
  • This book is an excellent resource for people in recovery and a great value at $9.95 US for the Kindle version or $12.95 for the paperback.

I love this book, and I highly recommend it!