By the time Rock Hudson’s death in alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of. “Shilts successfully weaves comprehensive investigative reporting and commercial page-turning pacing, political intrigue, and personal tragedy into a landmark. And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic [Randy Shilts] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. And the Band Played On: By the time Rock Hudson’s death in 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: How was this epidemic allowed to spread so far before it was taken seriously? In answering these questions, Shilts 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.
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
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What the role of Selma? See 2 questions about And the Band Played On…. Lists with This Book. The gay plague got covered only because it finally had struck people who counted, people who were not homosexuals. Shilts has dug deep into the history of the AIDs crisis: He has provided a comprehensive, horrific history of the disease, its victims, and the uncaring government who allowe The gay plague got covered only because it finally had struck people who counted, people who were not homosexuals.
He has provided a comprehensive, horrific history of the disease, its victims, and the uncaring government who allowed it to spread out of control. 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 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 vand fantasy pageturners– reality is so much more haunting and terrible than fiction. 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 ajd 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 inthe government poured money into it and the CDC acted quickly to stop its spread. However, AIDs was not offered the same bnad. Despite the fact that more people were dying from AIDs and it was spreading much more quickly, many medical professionals refused to pllayed 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, bwnd 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 playsd even imagine. 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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And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
Jan 06, Melody rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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 penchant for fey boys, I wouldn’t be around to see the turn of the century. I vividly remember making up file folders for for my job and thinking that the ones for would be in someone else’s handwr This book brought back the early 80s in hallucinatory detail. I vividly remember making up file folders for for my job and thinking that the ones for would be in someone else’s handwriting.
It was a scary time that was made electric for me by Shilts and Larry Kramer. I bought this book the week it came out, and it changed my view of everything. Reading it again some odd years later brought back the anger and the sadness and that helpless, blistering rage.
This is the book that made me understand viscerally that me and mine mattered nothing to the government. It’s also where I learned that the best intentions can get snarled in the weeds- that people passionately devoted to an idea will serve that idea beyond all reason, that profit comes before people, and that it always takes a movie star to catch the public’s imagination. All the mistakes, all the missteps are herein laid out in letters of fire.
The Cassandras, dismissed, reviled and hushed at the time, are sadly proven right. Reagan is illuminated in the harsh light of retrospect and found wanting. A whole generation vanished because the health officials didn’t want to talk about anal sex, the blood banks didn’t want to admit they should have tested the blood, the gay rights organizations couldn’t conceive of closing the baths, the government couldn’t fund the scientists, the scientists couldn’t let go of their need to be the first, the medical journals couldn’t suspend business-as-usual, the FDA couldn’t understand that double blind studies were inappropriate in the face of an epidemic of this magnitude, and on and on and on.
A monumental comedy of errors that could so easily have been prevented. This book should be required reading for anyone entering any sort of health care profession or who might be a health care consumer some day. Infuriating, well-written, and tragically still timely. It could happen again. This book changed my life.
I wish it hadn’t had to. View all 11 comments.
Autumn It was what I would call a really well made, sad, life changing movie. It was frustrating to see so many people doing nothing when so many were suffer It was what I would call a really well made, sad, life changing movie.
It was frustrating to see so many people doing nothing when so many were suffering. Dec 24, Sep 13, Hadrian rated it it was amazing Shelves: A pestilence isn’t a thing made to man’s measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogey of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.
But it doesn’t always pass away, and from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away How the gay men of San Francisco didn’t want to close the bathhouses. How the blood banks didn’t want to institute tests because of expenses. How the senators wanted to leave the issue out of mind. How the press refused to cover the issue until it spread from the homosexual male community.
How divided and underfunded the research teams were. And now, some thirty years later, when the cure is at our fingertips, few still remember, after the benefit concerts, that some thirty million are dead, and this is by all standards, a pandemic. This book makes you grind your teeth with rage. How could so many people have done nothing or lied about it for so long? Perhaps now the only criticism although few could have foreseen it at time of publication is the focus on Gaeten Dugas, or ‘Patient Zero’.
He may not have been the singular cause for the spread of the disease, but one of the first group. But he still typifies the wanton ignorance and total psychopathy which involves spreading an unknown disease to hundreds of people, often telling his partners after the act, “I have gay cancer. You’ll have it too. What just god would send plagues, sinners or otherwise?
This is really good. I can’t take it any more. View all 6 comments. Dec 23, Katie rated it it was amazing. If you’re seeking a comprehensive history of the AIDS epidemic, look no further. Written as a detective story, this must read book covers all aspects of the disease, from history, to journalism, to politics, to people. Randy Shilts, in his thorough investigative report, highlights the many blunders along the way, blunders that are unbelievable in retrospect.
It is not an anti-Republican rant, rather it is a very fair assessment of the collective failure of all entities involved. Because the individuals initially infected were mostly gay or drug users, the public was extremely apathetic. Due to the transmission methods sodomy, IV drugs, etc.