Read And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts Free Online
Book Title: And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic|
The author of the book: Randy Shilts
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.74 MB
Edition: Turtleback Books
Date of issue: April 9th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780613298728
Read full description of the books And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic:The gay plague got covered only because it finally had struck people who counted, people who were not homosexuals.
1) This is an absolutely astounding piece of investigative journalism. Shilts has dug deep into the history of the AIDs crisis: from its very early origins in Africa, being passed around by a lack of medical hygiene, to the bath houses of New York and San Francisco. He has provided a comprehensive, horrific history of the disease, its victims, and the uncaring government who allowed it to spread out of control.
2) Shilts is an AMAZING writer. I'm interested in the history of diseases, but then I'm interested in the history of a lot of things. Technology, art, religion, democracy... being interested in something is one thing; being able to hold my attention for 600+ pages of non-fiction is quite another.
But Shilts did not have a problem. His writing style feels almost like you are reading a dark, dramatic novel as he paints a vivid picture of every scene. It's so very compelling. This simple truth seems obvious and yet it is easy to forget amid a sea of fantasy pageturners-- reality is so much more haunting and terrible than fiction.
3) This book exposes the homophobia, overt or otherwise, that allowed AIDs to become a disaster. Homophobia is not surprising to me in this often shitty world we live in, and yet I still managed to be shocked at the way medical professionals, government officials, and the media repeatedly failed the gay victims at the centre of this crisis.
We have teams around the world whose job it is to quickly isolate and stop infectious diseases before they can become epidemics. Shilts uses Legion Fever (or Legionnaires' disease) as an example. When there was an outbreak of Legion Fever in 1976, the government poured money into it and the CDC acted quickly to stop its spread. However, AIDs was not offered the same treatment.
Despite the fact that more people were dying from AIDs and it was spreading much more quickly, many medical professionals refused to acknowledge it, the media would not talk about gay sex, and some people even outright suggested it was the wrath of god, punishing gay men for immoral behaviour. It is heartbreaking how many gay men, as well as others, were allowed to die because of a fear of the word "homosexual".
What must it be like to be diagnosed with a disease and discover that the government refuses to care about finding the cause, or a cure, for it? I can't even imagine. It is horrific.
4) I recommend this book to everyone. It's a fast-paced, fascinating, and awful read that looks at a very recent area of history. If there was ever a perfect argument against bigotry, it is this disastrous way the AIDs epidemic was handled in its wake, and the millions of people who have died because of it.
I also recommend checking out the movie "The Normal Heart" for a more visual experience of this history.
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Read information about the authorRandy Shilts was a highly acclaimed, pioneering gay American journalist and author. He worked as a reporter for both The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as for San Francisco Bay Area television stations.
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