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And the Band Played On: Politics, People,…
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And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1987)

by Randy Shilts

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1,932563,536 (4.42)64
  1. 20
    The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein (espertus)
    espertus: Two interesting books on the spread of AIDS in two very different locations and times. "And the Band Played On" is about the emergence of AIDS, with a focus on the San Francisco gay community in the 1980s, which the author was a part of, and the (non-)response by the American government. "The Invisible Cure" is about governments' and NGOs' responses to AIDS in African countries in the 1990s and early 2000s, with varying degrees of success based on different levels of understanding of the problem and effectiveness in directing resources.… (more)
  2. 10
    The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Another epidemiological thriller, even faster-paced.
  3. 21
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (timspalding)
    timspalding: Some may take offense at the suggestion, but I think don't think World War Z could have been written without And the Band Played On, an oral history of the all-too-real AIDS epidemic. Shilts' is by far the better book, even if it weren't true and important.… (more)
  4. 00
    The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Both are excellent history-of-medicine narratives.
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» See also 64 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
A devastating account of the early part of the AIDS epidemic. Shilts portrays a political train wreck. Conservatives act like conservatives, liberals act like liberals and all the prejucides and political stances pile up and react against each other to tragic effect, while the doctors strugle to understand what's going on and patients die. The narrative--short, relentlessly chronological cuts--is detailed, character-centered and gripping. ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
A devastating account of the early part of the AIDS epidemic. Shilts portrays a political train wreck. Conservatives act like conservatives, liberals act like liberals and all the prejucides and political stances pile up and react against each other to tragic effect, while the doctors strugle to understand what's going on and patients die. The narrative--short, relentlessly chronological cuts--is detailed, character-centered and gripping. ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
A devastating account of the early part of the AIDS epidemic. Shilts portrays a political train wreck. Conservatives act like conservatives, liberals act like liberals and all the prejucides and political stances pile up and react against each other to tragic effect, while the doctors strugle to understand what's going on and patients die. The narrative--short, relentlessly chronological cuts--is detailed, character-centered and gripping. ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
Interesting that I finished this book just before Halloween. One of its most powerful aspects is the name and stories of the men who died from AIDS in its earliest days, names that would otherwise be lost to history. Granted, the first few deaths from blood transfusions are also mentioned, but that is part of the power that Shilts imports to his writing: so many in the US news media, government, and health care ignored the AIDS crisis because it was a gay disease" and it involved "embarrassing details about sex" that thousands of preventable deaths happened.

Having been in college when the announcement of the discovery of the AIDS virus came across, I was amazed at the incredible amount of in-fighting that took place before its discovery. Shameful.

And then there was AIDS-speak. What hypocrisy. Word on the street, even in the early 80's, was the AIDS was sexually transmitted. But to decide for others that "they shouldn't be panicked" or that the bathhouses were part of gay liberation instead of death houses? What terrible, terrible things, and what a waste of time and resources. Not to mention the blood transfusion denials. I learned later that Isaac Asimov died from a blood transfusion as much as from his liver giving out. Think of what this one man could have written.

This book has been out for almost 30 years, and it has taken me almost 30 years to read it. It's hard to put down, heavy as it is, but the range of emotions it evokes is intense. And they're not the happy emotions, either." ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
A devastating account of the early part of the AIDS epidemic. Shilts portrays a political train wreck. Conservatives act like conservatives, liberals act like liberals and all the prejucides and political stances pile up and react against each other to tragic effect, while the doctors strugle to understand what's going on and patients die. The narrative--short, relentlessly chronological cuts--is detailed, character-centered and gripping. ( )
  kristi_test_04 | Jun 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Although I’ve not read the book, I do have this on VHS. I remember watching the movie and I though it didn’t get enough attention, because people’s fears and attitudes really haven’t changed much, even after all these decades.

In 1986, my Mom was reluctant to tell people that she had cancer because some uninformed people actually thought they could catch cancer from someone else. The same fears abound with Aids.
 
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I came here today with the hope that this administration would do everything possible, make every resource available -- there is no reason this disease cannot be conquered. We do not need infighting. This is not a political issue. This is a health issue. This is not a gay issue. This is a human issue. And I do not intend to be defeated by it. I came here today in the hope that my epitaph would not read that I died of red tape.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312241356, Paperback)

In the first major book on AIDS, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts examines the making of an epidemic. Shilts researched and reported the book exhaustively, chronicling almost day-by-day the first five years of AIDS. His work is critical of the medical and scientific communities' initial response and particularly harsh on the Reagan Administration, who he claims cut funding, ignored calls for action and deliberately misled Congress. Shilts doesn't stop there, wondering why more people in the gay community, the mass media and the country at large didn't stand up in anger more quickly. The AIDS pandemic is one of the most striking developments of the late 20th century and this is the definitive story of its beginnings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An examination of the AIDS crisis critiques the federal government for its inaction, health authorities for their greed, and scientists for their desire for prestige in the face of the AIDS pandemic, in a twentieth anniversary edition of the acclaimed expose.… (more)

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