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How to Survive a Plague Audiobook

How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic - from the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary How to Survive a Plague.

A riveting, powerful telling of the story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large, and confronted with shame and hatred, this small group of men and women chose to fight for their right to live by educating themselves and demanding to become full partners in the race for effective treatments. Around the globe, 16 million people are alive today thanks to their efforts.

Not since the publication of Randy Shilts' classic And the Band Played On has a book measured the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms.

In dramatic fashion, we witness the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) and the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the prohibitively expensive (and sometimes toxic) AZT. We watch as these activists learn to become their own researchers, lobbyists, drug smugglers, and clinicians, establishing their own newspapers, research journals, and laboratories, and as they go on to force reform in the nation's disease-fighting agencies.

With his unparalleled access to this community, David France illuminates the lives of extraordinary characters, including the closeted Wall Street trader turned activist, the high school dropout who found purpose battling pharmaceutical giants in New York, the South African physician who helped establish the first officially recognized buyers' club at the height of the epidemic, and the public relations executive fighting to save his own life for the sake of his young daughter.

Expansive yet richly detailed, this is an insider's account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights. Powerful, heart-wrenching, and finally exhilarating, How to Survive a Plague is destined to become an essential part of the literature of AIDS.

©2016 David France (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Prepare to have your heart buoyed and broken in this riveting account.... This highly engaging account is a must-read for anyone interested in epidemiology, civil rights, gay rights, public health, and American history." (Library Journal)

"Powerful.... American history, memoir, public health, and a call-to-action are perfectly and passionately blended here. Spectacular and soulful." (Booklist)

"A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (73 )
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4.6 (68 )
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Performance
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  •  
    amelia dery 05-14-17
    amelia dery 05-14-17 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    11
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    Story
    "Very long"

    The message and story of this book was interesting but it would have been a lot more interesting if it was 50% shorter. There was a lot of tedious and overly complicated information that made this book hard to stay engaged with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aileen 05-12-17
    Aileen 05-12-17
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    37
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    "Powerful"

    This is an amazing story. It filled in many of the bits and pieces I remembered from my youth. I love the combination of memoir, epidemiology, and history, especially about the power of activism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice L. Moody Bethesda, MD 03-31-17
    Janice L. Moody Bethesda, MD 03-31-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent!"

    Riveting true story of aids activism- triumphs and failures. I was totally engrossed throughout. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-25-17
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    "A book everyone should read/ hear"

    Amazing history of the AIDS crisis, at no point did I ever lose interest. It is heartbreaking and also inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Dress Washington, DC 04-06-17
    Joseph Dress Washington, DC 04-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "Controversial. Stunning. Inspirational."
    Any additional comments?

    Wow. Another good Audible. Definitely controversial but it's a stunning recollection how desperate citizens can overcome the ineptness and downright viciousness of government and leaders shown to the most needy.
    The plague is done. The epidemic continues.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Mill Cree, Washington 01-20-17
    Frank Mill Cree, Washington 01-20-17 Member Since 2015

    AtlantaGuy

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    "Very long, very biased against scientists"

    I'm glad to learn about the HIV crisis, but I think the author really drags on. I dont care what people were wearing or what the weather was like. ACT UP sounds like petulant children who were bordering on terrorism. Kramer sounds like a real narcissist and an a-hole.

    If this weren't an audiobook, I'd have lost interest very early. A great idea: distill this down to a 40 page history.

    This book gave me new appreciation for those who blazed this trail, many dying. I cannot imagine living through that.

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Von Horn 01-03-17 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    "got it wrong"

    I thought this was a book about surviving a virus buy it's also about gate lifestyle and not for me.

    0 of 13 people found this review helpful

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