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 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.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Randy Shilts' book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview – where James Atlas interviews Larry Kramer about the life and work of Randy Shilts – begins as soon as the audiobook ends.
This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©1987 Randy Shilts (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"The most thorough, comprehensive exploration of the AIDS epidemic to date.... It is fascinating, frightening, and essential reading." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"And the Band Played On is about the kind of people we have been for the past seven years. That is its terror, and its strength." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A heroic work of journalism." (The New York Times)
Middle School teacher with a 100 miles round-trip daily commute; which I could never maintain all these long years without audible books.
This book basically kept me mad at Ronald Reagan again like I had forgotten I was mad at him throughout the 80's. A must-read for me, a Health teacher,
( I also teach English) , I shall irreverently recommend the movie over the book because the detail is probably too much in the book form for most folks. However... I loved it ! A tale of earnest research bungling and scientific hero-gods scorned, eggshell walking in the gay community and all around egos from hell. The emotions and emotional insights are enticing. I wanted to reach through the wires and strangle a few idiots...blessed with my brilliant hind-sight, natch!
The reader slaughters some pronunciations - hello - diRector? And... the flippin word "moreover" was overused in the text to the point of me pulling out my hair...hello again ...can you say "editor"? If you can handle these two distractions - I say - own it!
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