And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.

This "heroic work of journalism" (New York Times) reveals how the federal govrenment put budget considerations ahead of the nation's welfare.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
SOC SCI This shocking and illuminating account by the best-selling author of Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military (Audio Reviews, LJ 8/93) remains one of the most important books of the last two decades. Beginning with the alleged ``pa tient zero''--a French Canadian flight at tendant whose coast-to-coast liaisons were pivotal in spreading the AIDS virus throughout the United States--Shilts documents the epidemic's first onslaught, as well as the attendant reactions (or nonreactions) by the media, national health organizations, mainstream America, and the gay community. Although the audiobook was originally released in 1988, a recent HBO original movie based on the book and the success of Conduct Unbecoming should revive interest in it. Actor Willem Dafoe narrates with calm assurance, and Shilts reads a new afterword in which he points out that the band continues to play. Until an unabridged version is available, all libraries should have a copy of this seminal work.-- Mark Annichiarico, ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671671433
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 9/1/1988
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hrs.

Meet the Author

Randy Shilts was born in 1951, in Davenport, Iowa. One of the first openly gay journalists hired at a major newspaper, he worked for the San Francisco Chronicle for thirteen years. He died of AIDS in 1994 at his home in the Sonoma County redwoods in California. He was the author of The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982), And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic (1987), and Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military (1993). He also wrote extensively for many major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, and The Advocate. And the Band Played On was made into a docudrama that was broadcast on HBO in 1993.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Dramatis Personae xiii
The Bureaucracy xvii
Prologue xxi
Part I. Behold, A Pale Horse
1. The Feast of the Hearts 3
Part II. Before/1980
2. Glory Days 11
3. Beaches of the Dispossessed 25
4. Foreshadowing 34
5. Freeze Frames 42
Part III. Paving the Road/1981
6. Critical Mass 53
7. Good Intentions 61
8. The Prettiest One 70
9. Ambush Poppers 80
10. Golf Courses of Science 93
11. Bad Moon Rising 102
Part IV. The Gathering Darkness/1982
12. Enemy Time 115
13. Patient Zero 128
14. Bicentennial Memories 141
15. Nightsweats 149
16. Too Much Blood 160
17. Entropy 169
18. Running on Empty 178
19. Forced Feeding 185
20. Dirty Secrets 196
21. Dancing in the Dark 204
Part V. Battle Lines/January-June 1983
22. Let It Bleed 219
23. Midnight Confessions 227
24. Denial 234
25. Anger 242
26. The Big Enchilada 253
27. Turning Points 263
28. Only the Good 278
29. Priorities 288
30. Meanwhile 299
31. AIDSpeak Spoken Here 314
32. Star Quality 324
Part VI. Rituals/July-December 1983
33. Marathons 339
34. Just Another Day 349
35. Politics 359
36. Science 366
37. Public Health 374
38. Journalism 384
39. People 394
Part VII. Lights & Tunnels/1984
40. Prisoners 405
41. Bargaining 413
42. The Feast of the Hearts, Part II 423
43. Squeeze Play 429
44. Traitors 440
45. Political Science 450
46. Downbound Train 457
47. Republicans and Democrats 466
48. Embarrassed 477
49. Depression 486
50. The War 495
Part VIII. The Butcher's Bill/1985
51. Heterosexuals 507
52. Exiles 517
53 Reckoning 528
54. Exposed 539
55. Awakening 548
56. Acceptance 561
57. Endgame 572
Part IX. Epilogue/After
58. Reunion 585
59. The Feast of the Hearts, Part III 602
Notes on Sources 607
Index 615
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