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And the Band Played on

Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

Shilts, Randy

(Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
And the Band Played on
Print
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 exposé.
Publisher: New York : St Martin's Griffin, 2007
Edition: 20th anniversary ed
ISBN: 9780312374631
0312374631
Branch Call Number: 362.196979 S556a 2007
Characteristics: 630 p. ;,21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

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 exposé.


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This is an amazing book, absolutely rivetting and compelling. If it isn't compulsory reading for students going into the field of public health, it should be.
The previous commentor notes how surprising it is that Randy Shiltz pulled all of this information together so quickly. It should be noted that he was a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle (maybe the Examiner, I can't remember) who was covering this story from the early days. Many of the interviews that he uses to pull together the story were ones that he himself conducted at the time of the emergence of AIDS.

After reading half of the book, I checked the cataloguing information and discovered that the book was published in 1987. Given the comprehensive study of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic as well as the in-depth analysis of many of the major players that set the policy which would deeply effect the spread of the disease, it is absolutely stunning that Randy Shilts was able to write within five years of the initial case reported to the CDC. The book reads like a political thriller and pulls no punches when it comes to the ineptitude of the U.S. governmental agencies that would usually protect us from such threats. Everyone is put onto the examining table: the CDC, the NIH, the NIAID, the FDA, the Reagan Administration, city governments, the medical establishment, prominent physicians and researches, the gay leadership, and many others. Anyone who is interested in this history should start here.

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