The Recovery Scholarship of Ernest Kurtz
One of the distinctive voices within the modern history of addiction recovery is that of Harvard-trained historian Ernie Kurtz. Spanning the 1979 publication of his classic Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous to the just-released Experiencing Spirituality (with Katherine Ketcham), Kurtz has forged a deep imprint in studies of the history of A.A. and other recovery mutual aid groups, the varieties of recovery experience, the role of spirituality in addiction recovery, and the personal and clinical management of shame and guilt. This imprint though lies far deeper than the legacy of his five books and numerous articles. Ernie’s involvements in the field span his teaching at innumerable addiction summer schools and conferences (from Rutgers to the University of Chicago) and his mentoring untold numbers of individuals, as well as in his research collaborations focused on the multiple pathways of addiction recovery.
I first sought Ernie’s guidance more than two decades ago while working on a book on the history of addiction treatment and recovery in the United States. What I expected to be a brief consultation evolved into a sustained mentorship and some of the most important project collaborations of my career. When I decided to launch this website in 2011, I included a few of Ernie’s papers in the “Friends and Favorites” section of the site, but I became increasingly interested in making the larger body of Ernie’s work available to current and future generations of addiction professionals and recovery support specialists. To fulfill that goal, an Ernie Kurtz section of this website has been created as a repository of this collected work.
The new Ernie Kurtz Section contains a profile I recently authored about Ernie’s life and work, links to Ernie’s authored and co-authored books, two seminal monographs on recovery management, more than 25 published and unpublished articles, recent blogs, and links to video and audio interviews of Ernie Kurtz conducted in the past decade. Other earlier papers are being edited and new papers currently in press and in development will be added to this site as they become available.
It is my deep pleasure to welcome readers to this new collection of resources. I hope your exploration of the collected writings of Ernie Kurtz will be as informative and meaningful to you as they have been to me. You can explore the Ernie Kurtz papers and other resources by clicking here.