David's Reviews > And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts
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's review
Jul 27, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: favorite-non-fiction, politics, history

From the start of the AIDS crisis, before it even had a name -- and, therefore, an identity -- it was linked to homosexuals.That's perhaps the greatest tragedy, because it gave the heterosexual majority the opportunity to feel secure from the threat and to treat those who became infected as victims of bad and dangerous choices. That kind of attitude led to a smug and superior approach to homosexuals that prevailed until Rock Hudson's infection became public. One can only wonder how many lives might have been saved if Ronald Reagan had acknowledged that a public health crisis affects everyone. But, because Reagan ignored what was happening, the disease got out of hand. And what may have begun largely as a homosexual disease crossed the line into heterosexual territory -- because anything that can be spread sexually will not be confined for long. But Reagan failed to comprehend the epidemic until his friend became infected. Read this book and you will see all too clearly what Reagan could not see.

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