AND THE BAND PLAYED ON BOOK

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Start by marking “And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic” as Want to Read: See 2 questions about And the Band Played On. The gay plague got covered only because it finally had struck people who counted, people who were not homosexuals. Upon it's first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. See the Best Books of the Month Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries.


And The Band Played On Book

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And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic is a book by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Randy Shilts. The book chronicles the. And the Band Played On is both a tribute to these heroic people and a stinging Though many of the details in the book are familiar to veteran. In ''And the Band Played On,'' Randy Shilts, a reporter for The San It is at once a history and a passionate indictment that is the book's central.

He seems to have used every one of them. Reading ''And the Band Played On'' sometimes feels like studying a gigantic mosaic, one square at a time.

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Finally, and most disturbingly, there are people missing from the book: the intravenous drug users and their sexual partners - a population that is mostly poor and black or Hispanic - who now constitute the great second wave of the AIDS epidemic, and a great share of its future.

Shilts gives them a few paragraphs, no case reports, no personal or human accounts.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story Not long ago, Dr. In alone, he told a small medical meeting, there will be more new AIDS cases than there have been in all the years from to the present. The city will need 2, to 4, hospital beds just for AIDS patients - with comparable and overwhelming needs for chronic-care facilities, social services, welfare assistance, nursing services and counselling.

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A majority of the anticipated tens of thousands of New York City AIDS patients will be black and Hispanic intravenous drug users, their sexual partners and their babies.

There is the pain of their friends and lovers, the growth of fear in whole communities. There is also the clinical story of physicians struggling both to treat and care for AIDS patients - desperately comparing notes, searching the medical journals, fighting for hospital beds and resources.

There is the story of the scientific research that led at last to a basic understanding of the disease, the identification of the virus, the test for antibodies. And, finally, there is the larger political and cultural story, the response of the society, and its profound impact on all the other aspects of the AIDS epidemic.

Shilts tells them all - but he tells them all at once, in five simultaneous but disjointed chronologies, making them all less coherent. In the account of a given month or year, we may just be grasping the nature of the research problem - and then be forced to pause to read of the clinical deterioration of a patient met 20 or 40 or 60 pages earlier, and then digress to a Congressional hearing, and then listen to the anxious speculations of a public health official and finally review the headlines of that month.

The threads are impossible to follow. View all New York Times newsletters.

The reader drowns in detail. The book jacket says that Mr. Shilts - in addition to his years of daily coverage of the epidemic - conducted more than interviews in 12 nations and dug out thousands of pages of Government documents. He seems to have used every one of them.

Reading ''And the Band Played On'' sometimes feels like studying a gigantic mosaic, one square at a time. Finally, and most disturbingly, there are people missing from the book: Shilts gives them a few paragraphs, no case reports, no personal or human accounts.

Not long ago, Dr. In alone, he told a small medical meeting, there will be more new AIDS cases than there have been in all the years from to the present.

And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

The city will need 2, to 4, hospital beds just for AIDS patients - with comparable and overwhelming needs for chronic-care facilities, social services, welfare assistance, nursing services and counselling. A majority of the anticipated tens of thousands of New York City AIDS patients will be black and Hispanic intravenous drug users, their sexual partners and their babies.

How, someone asked, will two more oppressed minorities move the nation, the rest of us, to provide the needed resources?

There was a long pause. Joseph at last said softly, ''we'll find out what kind of people we are, and what kind of people we want to be. That is its terror, and its strength.

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It was happening to people I cared about and loved. In a telephone interview from a New York hotel where he was staying during a book tour, Mr. Shilts said his coverage of the AIDS story for the paper has been unusual, but not that extraordinary.

He has essentially devoted the last five years of his life to writing about the AIDS epidemic. Shilts said, ''the lead would be: In Nebraska the day before, he said he was going to San Francisco.

And the Band Played on : Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic

However, AIDs was not offered the same treatment. Despite the fact that more people were dying from AIDs and it was spreading much more quickly, many medical professionals refused to acknowledge it, the media would not talk about gay sex, and some people even outright suggested it was the wrath of god, punishing gay men for immoral behaviour.

It is heartbreaking how many gay men, as well as others, were allowed to die because of a fear of the word "homosexual". What must it be like to be diagnosed with a disease and discover that the government refuses to care about finding the cause, or a cure, for it?

I can't even imagine. It is horrific. It's a fast-paced, fascinating, and awful read that looks at a very recent area of history.He highlights the indifference, the prejudice, and the unnecessary deaths that occurred before patients with AIDS received the attention and treatment they so desperately needed.

Along those lines, people don't care about 20, dead, but they might care about one dying person.

In doing so, he has exposed the notion of objectivity as bankrupt, ineffective, even lethal". It documents the initial apathy about this strange new illness which sapped the body of its ability to fight, leaving it open to all kinds of life-threatening conditions.

Martin's dense tomes, but in high fantasy, everyone fights for their lives, and some win and some die.

JOHNNA from Santa Cruz
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