"The Saloon and the Mission offers a unique contribution for historians of numerous specialties (cultural, literary, religious) as well as those specializing in alcohol or drug studies. I know of no other work that offers such a sweeping synthesis of the evolution of the addiction recovery narrative and how it emerged from and has evolved within particular historical contexts.—William L. White, author of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America
""I wish to recommend a relatively new book to AA History Lovers. Eoin F. Cannon's The Saloon and the Mission: Addiction, Conversion, and the Politics of Redemption in American Culture devotes only one chapter directly to Alcoholics Anonymous, but it richly surveys the context out of which A.A. came into being. More importantly, in my opinion, the book analyzes the contexts within which A.A. developed as the twentieth century unfolded. I find it richly useful in coming to an understanding of A.A.'s full historical significance.""—Ernest Kurtz, Ph.D., author of Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous and, with Katherine Ketcham, The Spirituality of Imperfection
""Cannon . . . traces the various ways in which the conversion/recovery narrative structure was used, for example, in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Jon Dos Passos's Manhattan Transfer, Djuna Barnes's Nightwood, and Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, all of which explore the possibility of resituating the isolated, addicted individual in a meaningful social world. This is a fresh approach to familiar concepts--evangelical Christianity, alcoholism, individualism, and liberalism. Recommended.""—Choice
""Any historian interested in the idea of the 'social' in social psychology will find much to consider here, for with each chapter there is added clearer documentation of small groups and their affective power than one may find elsewhere.""—Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences
""The book truly shines when Cannon turns his attention to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a fundamentally important and often-overlooked part of America's continued discourse over alcohol and its place in the nation's history. His discussion of how AA members came to understand in the 1940s that people could have sober relationships with one another is excellent. By weaving these various strands together, including appropriate discussions of gender, class, and even socialism, Cannon has crafted a stimulating account about how those soggy with drink came to dry out.""—Journal of American History
""This book is a cultural history happily married to literature. An excellent, difficult book.""—The Historian
""A masterful genealogy of the influence of the alcoholic's recovery narrative. . . . Thorough, well-researched, and remarkably comprehensive, Cannon's book is valuable as both a resource and a font of critical wisdom in its own right. Cannon's work helps us see how the possibility of redemption is always both individual and social, making it a profound and powerful epistemological lens indeed.""—American Literary History Online Review"