Linda'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
Sep 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended to Linda by: my dad
Read in April, 1990

This was the first real "grown-up" non-fiction book I ever read -- recommended to me while I was still in high school by my father, of all people. It's an excellent chronicle of the early days of the AIDS epidemic, as it was first being recognized. Along the way Shilts documents the bias and indifference of the medical profession to the odd health complaints of a "subculture", the heroic efforts of a few lonely but committed stalwarts fighting an uphill battle to bring attention to this disease, and how the egos of medical professionals, the parochial interests of both the public health establishment as well as supposed advocacy organizations, and the vagaries of politics, among many other things, combined to exacerbate rather than ameliorate a massive public health calamity.

Young-uns encountering AIDS from the far, far safer perspective of the early 21st century will surely find this an eye-opening look at a truly scary and regrettable moment in our social history.

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