And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
By the time Rock Hudson's death in 1985 alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of people and emerging as the greatest health crisis of the 20th century. America faced a troubling question: What happened? How was this... show more
By the time Rock Hudson's death in 1985 alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of people and emerging as the greatest health crisis of the 20th century. America faced a troubling question: What happened? How was this epidemic allowed to spread so far before it was taken seriously? In answering these questions, Shilts weaves weaves the disparate threads into a coherent story, pinning down every evasion and contradiction at the highest levels of the medical, political, and media establishments. Shilts shows that the epidemic spread wildly because the federal government put budget ahead of the nation's welfare; health authorities placed political expediency before the public health; and scientists were often more concerned with international prestige than saving lives. Against this backdrop, Shilts tells the heroic stories of individuals in science and politics, public health and the gay community, who struggled to alert the nation to the enormity of the danger it faced. And the Band Played On is both a tribute to these heroic people and a stinging indictment of the institutions that failed the nation so badly.
Publish date: April 9th 2000
Publisher: Stonewall Inn Editions
Pages no: 656
Edition language: English
In the 25 years since this book was published, I've read it three times. This is the first time I've felt anything other than outrage, and have been able to notice the writing. Certainly I felt outrage as well this time, along with horror, anger, rage, etc. It's hard not to. The AIDS epidemic, a...
I really struggled with how to rate this book. There's no doubt it's full of a great deal of information and the steps taken to try and 'humanise' the book and tell the stories of some of the people affected are laudable. However, it also makes it difficult to decide whether to read this as a fact...
This book brought back the early 80s in hallucinatory detail. I remember when we first heard about Gay Cancer, and how hard it was to get any decent information. I remember when the world got wobbly and my friends were dying and it seemed like nobody cared. I was quite certain that, given my penchan...
Incredible, eye-opening, and tremendously sad.
I recall from looking over my journal from back then that this book was extremely engaging. It made me angry at times. I wrote more in my journal, but I will keep it there. I did note that I enjoyed the book, which I found to be very well documented. Also it felt like reading fiction in a way I coul...