THE TABLEMATE was an early A.A. set of beginners lessons entitled "Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation of the Twelve Steps," put out in the form of a little pamphlet. It was the most successful set of A.A. beginners lessons ever devised. It breaks the twelve steps down into four groups, which are studied over a period of four weeks:
This little pamphlet was printed and published by A.A. groups all over the United States, where it became known under a variety of local names: The Tablemate, the Table Leader's Guide, the Detroit pamphlet, the Washington D.C. pamphlet, the Seattle pamphlet, and so on. The basic text always remained the same. The only local variants came in the little poems and readings which were sometimes printed inside the front and back covers, or between the pages of the four sections.
Bobby Burger, the secretary at the New York A.A. headquarters (then called the Alcoholic Foundation) wrote a letter on November 11, 1944, making it clear that the New York office heartily approved
of A.A. groups using the little pamphlet. And if we want real oldtime A.A., we must read and study the actual words of the good oldtimers in our A.A. meetings. Little pamphlets from the modern New York G.S.O. are not designed to be the kind of good solid meat-and-potatoes literature which must be read and studied and discussed in meetings in order to keep the spirit of original old time A.A. alive and still saving alcoholics from destruction today.