1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Let the Record Show  By  cover art

Let the Record Show

By: Sarah Schulman
Narrated by: Rosalyn Coleman Williams,Sarah Schulman
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $42.52

Buy for $42.52

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

2021 NPR Best Book of the Year

This program includes an introduction read by the author.

One of O, the Oprah Magazine's 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021, one of Vogue's 9 LGBTQ+ Books We're Looking Forward to This Spring, one of and Cosmopolitan's LGBTQ+ Books to Add to Your Reading List in 2021, one of The Observer's Spring Books You Don't Want to Miss, and one of Bloomberg's 14 Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring

"A masterpiece of historical research and intellectual analysis that creates many windows into both a vanished world and the one that emerged from it, the one we live in now." (Alexander Chee)

Twenty years in the making, Sarah Schulman's Let the Record Show is the most comprehensive political history ever assembled of ACT UP and American AIDS activism.

In just six years, ACT UP, New York, a broad and unlikely coalition of activists from all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds, changed the world. Armed with rancor, desperation, intelligence, and creativity, it took on the AIDS crisis with an indefatigable, ingenious, and multifaceted attack on the corporations, institutions, governments, and individuals who stood in the way of AIDS treatment for all. They stormed the FDA and NIH in Washington, DC, and started needle exchange programs in New York; they took over Grand Central Terminal and fought to change the legal definition of AIDS to include women; they transformed the American insurance industry, weaponized art and advertising to push their agenda, and battled - and beat - The New York Times, the Catholic Church, and the pharmaceutical industry. Their activism, in its complex and intersectional power, transformed the lives of people with AIDS and the bigoted society that had abandoned them.

Based on more than 200 interviews with ACT UP members and rich with lessons for today’s activists, Let the Record Show is a revelatory exploration - and long-overdue reassessment - of the coalition’s inner workings, conflicts, achievements, and ultimate fracture. Schulman, one of the most revered queer writers and thinkers of her generation, explores the how and the why, examining, with her characteristic rigor and bite, how a group of desperate outcasts changed America forever, and in the process created a livable future for generations of people across the world.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Sarah Schulman (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year, 2021

PEN Literary Award - Finalist, 2022

NPR Best Book of the Year, 2021

New York Magazine Best Books of the Year, 2021

Lambda Literary Award - Winner, 2022

What listeners say about Let the Record Show

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration makes it difficult to enjoy

I bought this book because I found the topic so interesting and definitely forgotten in today’s society.

While I still consider this a tour du force of learning and discovery, the narration is very distracting and significantly takes away from the overall experience. As explained in another review it is the stop-start breaking up one cohesive sentence into two that is most annoying. I read that before buying the book and thought “I’m sure it’s not that bad”, but it really is. Buy the written version or none at all.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Important story RUINED by incompetent production

AWFUL TO LISTEN TO.

After almost two hours, I had to give up. The narration is distracting in the extreme. Not only does the narrator (Williams) not seem to understand how to pronounce basic English words like "preface," she also seems to be reading the text for the first time. Complex words and intricate phrasing elude her grasp. She pauses where there should not be pauses and drops words. It finally got to the point where I could no longer listen, despite this being an important work and one I really wanted to listen to. If I could give the performance zero stars, I would have. Ultimately, this is a failure of the producers. Perhaps Williams was not given the adequate amount of time to prep to do a 27 hour book?

Either way, I recommend avoiding the audio book and sticking with the bound version.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

poor reading

such an important, moving, well told history. unfortunately, the reader was a distraction - her diction is poor, and she was unable to pronounce many words (the same words) over and over again - the flow was at times halting, hesitant, as if she were reading it for the first time - like it was an obstacle course she was unfamiliar with. she should have been coached and it should have been edited.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Marred by poor narration

The narrator for this important work has unfortunate difficulties in phrasing. She reads half of a sentence, phrasing it as though it is the full sentence, followed by the rest of the sentence, read as though it is a standalone complete sentence. "But I think the combination of having the litigation and the demonstration and all this ACT UP work that had gone on finally. Started to scare the government a bit."
Oh damn. I'm following along in the book to find examples, and I just saw her skip three words on a single page.
This is just really depressing. "Go meet with them" became "go meet them." Over the course of 4 or 5 pages, she skipped between one and four words per page. "sexually transmitted AIDS could manifest as Kaposi sarcoma, whereas AIDS transmitted by needles did not" -- she left out the second "AIDS."
She also mispronounces words -- "preface" became "pree face", "plenary" is "plen AIR ee".
Not good.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Legendary activists

Part history, part manual
Required reading for so many of us trying to change the world

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • mc
  • 10-12-22

wokey wokey

Unfortunately she can’t stick to facts or the story and had to drag in every worthless left wing ideology, lie and fabrication she can find.

presentism at its finest judging everyone of the past by the latest leftist fad and delusion.

What should have been an honest history of a period of time ends up just waxing lyrical of the writers biases, gripes and moans.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Silvia Petretti
  • Silvia Petretti
  • 10-04-21

Necessary Reading

This is a necessary book about the history of one of the most diverse and impactful social movement for access to health. I loved it. I did not have any problems with the reading. I also recommend to watch the film United In Anger. I am really grateful to Sarah Shulman for providing us with this really important piece of history, and full acknowledgement of the contribution of women, people of colour, people who use drugs, in the AIDS activism movement.

1 person found this helpful