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Description

By the time Rock Hudson's death in 1985 alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of people and emerging as the greatest health crisis of the 20th century. America faced a troubling question: What happened? How was this epidemic allowed to spread so far before it was taken seriously?

In answering these questions, Shilts weaves the disparate threads into a coherent story, pinning down every evasion and contradiction at the highest levels of the medical, political, and media establishments. Shilts shows that the epidemic spread wildly because the federal government put budget ahead of the nation's welfare; health authorities placed political expediency before the public health; and scientists were often more concerned with international prestige than saving lives.

Against this backdrop, Shilts tells the heroic stories of individuals in science and politics, public health and the gay community, who struggled to alert the nation to the enormity of the danger it faced. And the Band Played On is both a tribute to these heroic people and a stinging indictment of the institutions that failed the nation so badly.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Randy Shilts' book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview – where James Atlas interviews Larry Kramer about the life and work of Randy Shilts – begins as soon as the audiobook ends.

©1987 Randy Shilts (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Ce que les critiques en disent

"The most thorough, comprehensive exploration of the AIDS epidemic to date.... It is fascinating, frightening, and essential reading." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
" And the Band Played On is about the kind of people we have been for the past seven years. That is its terror, and its strength." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"A heroic work of journalism." ( The New York Times)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de And the Band Played On

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Never forget

I was a boy when the events discussed in this book were taking place, however, I well remember feeling frightened by the prospect of a new and mysterious disease. Randy Shilts did an excellent job of personalizing a faceless tragedy. Of course, the "Patient Zero" hypothesis which he presents here has been disproven. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the early phase of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful.

Oof. Really important and eye-opening account of the intentional mismanagement of the AIDS crisis motivated by homophobia, hatred, and indifference. I cried a lot reading this. I guess read this if you want to lose any remaining faith in humanity that you may have!

Rest in power, Randy. Thank you for giving us these stories.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Literary journalism at its best

If long reads are your thing then it’s hard to do better than And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts. Few pieces of literary journalism are as epic and as in-depth as this one. Shilts leaves very few stones unturned, which is a high compliment when dealing with an issue as complex and wide in scope as the 1980s AIDS crisis. He brings together the AIDS crisis through politics, medicine, and personal stories. It’s a must read

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Important history for all

Must-listen at a minimum of not a must-read for new HIV researchers and/or newly diagnosed. See also David France's How to Survive a Plague for the later years and successful organizing.
Read up on the legacy of this book to go through some of the fact checking on later facts that were initially mis-read (ex. Gaetan Dugas re. patient 0).

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan Mitchell Johnson
  • 2013-03-19

The subtitle says it all!

If you could sum up And the Band Played On in three words, what would they be?

Shocking, well-told story

What was one of the most memorable moments of And the Band Played On?

The constant conflicts between truth and politics (and money) are just unbelievable--what people did to "protect" their interests while scores of people died is unthinkable, yet it happened.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's all my favorite.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was constantly astounded by the infighting of the various factions that put their own interests in front of public health--and that at times the public's health was completely ignored. The very fact that the blood banks denied there could possibly be a threat was the ultimate triumph of "looking good" over public health and common sense.

Any additional comments?

I tried to read this book many years ago and never made it through even the first few chapters. Listening to it instead made it so much more accessible. Unputdownable!

22 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 2014-06-30

I, too, had forgotten

This book is meticulously researched by a reporter who followed the entire story from beginning to end. And he pulls no punches - there is plenty of blame to go around. Politicians, gay leadership, scientists, journalists, business people, they all contributed to the crisis that was AIDS in the 1980s.

Shilts unravels the story piece by piece. What keeps you listening is the "And what happened next?" pacing. He brings to life the heroes and humans. It's truly a masterpiece and I thank Audible for producing this work. Without Audible the Audible Modern Vanguard publishing house, this work would not exist in this format.

Rarely has an 80 hour book so completely captured me. I swallowed this book in large chunks over a couple of weeks. I'm in the process of re-listening at a slower pace. If you are old enough to remember the Reagan administration, I believe this book will capture you as well.

16 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 2013-10-06

Important book performed well.

What did you love best about And the Band Played On?

This book is a highly informative and deeply moving. Its relevance extends beyond the AIDS crisis to public health (and other political) issues generally.

10 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ron L. Caldwell
  • 2011-07-23

A-plus journalism

Shilts managed to write three of the most important works of nonfiction touching on gay people in the twentieth century. This book is one that is so carefully researched and intelligently presented that it really brings one into the complex mindsets that pervaded the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

It's broad in its geographical scope, yet stunningly personal, too. It shows us that the people who fought for the rights of people with aids often fought bitterly among themselves. It reveals the horrendous complacency and silence of the Reagan administration that might well be characterized as criminally negligent.

Shilts himself would succumb to AIDS not so many years after the events chronicled in this book. It stands as a living monument to his intelligence and humanity. It's a book everyone should read.

9 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James Gordon
  • 2009-08-19

Sadness Redux

The definitive book mirroring the early days of the AIDS crisis. The late Randy Shilts details the disease from the points of view of the medical investigators, the press, the public and most painfully those who lived with the ravages of the virus. Looking back on the crisis from the vantage of medical advancements and the deaths that came too soon, one can only wonder what might have been. Sad and enlightening, I highly recommend this classic. It's history we must learn from.

5 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marissa
  • 2017-11-13

Heartbreaking

This is one of the books you read, and somehow along the way you can feel it changing the way you think. I'm nearly twenty-six, and somehow despite decades of varied levels of public health education, I somehow managed to grow up never really knowing what AIDS "did". In school, with exceptionally limited sex ed, you learn that AIDS is the Bad One when it comes to std’s and you get lectures on abstinence and condoms. You don't hear about the massive number of health problems that come along with the disease, not about the cancers or the opportunistic infections or really any of the many many different ways that this disease began to yshow it face--no wonder it was initially so hard to isolate; it isn't a single set of symptoms, it's a pile of over-lapping and separate diseases that no one really expected to see. Unusual forms of skin cancer and unlikely infections... Honestly, I'm disappointed in myself for never making the cognitive leap and realizing that an immune disorder would manifest in so many different ways, but I am also disappointed that even after so many people have died there is still not enough general public education that the full effects of AIDS that I could grow up in the 90s and manage to be ignorant of anything beyond the most basic level.

There should be better and more accessible public education efforts, it's infuriating to read about their absence during the unfolding of the epidemic shown in this book, but it's heartbreaking to realize that even as time continued to pass somehow universal public education on the subject is still lacking. Maybe I'm in a skipped over gray area; maybe the rest of the country is doing better when they teach their children. Hopefully the rest of the country is doing better. Anecdotal experience is not evidence, but it's not like I grew up under a rock. One of the central recurring problems explored in this book is the unwillingness of the media to talk about the disease and the disinterest of the public in hearing about it. I do not think that is a problem that has entirely gone away.

This book is absolutely a monster of masterful reporting. It covers so many years of highly detailed and nuanced perspectives from not just the people infected with the disease, but the medical professionals, politicians (at federal, state, local community levels), community leaders, reporters, business owners (from blood banks to bath houses). One of the frustrating and flat out horrifying things about this account is that so many people, from so many walks of life, were involved in the spread and treatment of the epidemic. So many people involved and yet they were always talking and arguing at cross purposes even if the were on the same side. Doctors who warned patients to limit unsafe sex practices come across as policing morality rather than health. The problem is that some doctors really only meant to help and some did intend for the religious/moral overtones to shine through their advice. People who genuinely wanted to help were not necessarily 100% altruistic or open minded; it's hardly palatable advice to be told not to do something when you know or think you know that the person advising you is “morally” opposed to your behavior. Yet it's frustrating, because the advice wasn't wrong. Unsafe sex practices absolutely needed to be curtailed. It sucks that the history of telling gay people what to do with their love lives has always been a loaded issue. If the baggage that came with the territory had been absent, maybe the story could have had a more productive conversation. It's hard to receive help from people who hate you. And it sucks when the rhetoric of the people who hate you falls into overlap with the people who are trying to help.

The blood banks are god damned evil incarnate in this narrative. Holy shit. Despite evidence that AIDS could be transmissible through blood, they stubbornly refused to acknowledge the danger. They refused to test the blood they were passing around, and even became angry when one blood bank did finally start testing. All because of the expense of testing. Seriously. Lives were being critically endangered at ridiculously alarming rates and the banks stuck to their party line of the “ One in 1 million chance” od contracting AIDS through transfusions, completely refusing to accept culpability until way past the point of no return.

-Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Dawkins
  • 2018-05-18

An incredible piece of journalism and history,

This is an epic, extraordinary, infuriating and hard-to-put-down work of journalism. Very highly recommended for anyone interested in not only the history of AIDS and gay America but on how individuals and systems respond to a crisis, and the battle between memory and forgetting, dignity and denial, community rights and individual egos. A truly monumental and essential book.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Autodidact
  • 2017-11-09

required reading

a human story told with grace and brilliance. a tragedy of the first degree, still unfolding bolstered by Reagan stalling and general bigotry of the USA Stunning, moving and a must read

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kristin
  • 2011-06-29

Wow...I had forgotten....

Had forgotten how incredible this story is. As everyone mentioned, I was the HBO movie and it really touched me. I was an 80’s child and remember the ‘scramble’ that the discovery caused; my mom was freaking out because she enjoyed the 70’s. :o) I was disappointed to learn about the presidents lack of concern. At least all of that has changed. It took several weeks of course. I had to stop and listen to another book for awhile; had to get away from the frank language and the denial.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ricketsj
  • 2013-11-04

Stunning, informative, well-written, but biased.

This book was one of the most interesting non-fiction stories I've encountered in a long time. I was shocked by how little of this story I knew considering that I was alive during the time it was being shaped- it really reinforces the point that is made repeatedly that the media simply ignored what should have been a HUGE story because it affected mainly the gay community. In hindsight, it is simply incredible to hear about stupid, short-sighted decisions made by scientists, journalists, politicians, and even members of the most affected communities. Decisions made because of simple denial, which lead to many avoidable deaths. This includes 2) the shocking decision of blood banks to simply ignore evidence that HIV was a blood-born viral agent, leading to infection of people receiving blood transfusions, 3) the absurdly counter-intuitive decision of scientists and policymakers in the U.S. to ignore or dispute cases of infection in hemophiliacs, IV drug users, children of infected mothers, and those receiving blood transfusions, 4) the intentional under-funding of AIDS research by the Reagan administration despite efforts by Congress to provide additional funding, and 5) decisions by some gay leaders and public health officials to focus almost entirely on civil liberties issues and ignore attempts to curb the rate of infection.

It was also pretty embarrassing as an American to read about the underhanded and dishonest efforts by scientist Robert Gallo to take credit for the work of French scientists, even including fraud- all while ignoring the fact that these shenanigans affected a real epidemic that was claiming real lives.

Shilts is not an objective journalist, often using language that is conclusory and inflammatory. He doesn't just present facts that clearly illustrate that politicians and scientists didn't care about AIDS (then called GRID) because they believed it only affected homosexuals- he says it. And he says it repeatedly. I realize that this rubs a lot of people (particularly journalists) the wrong way because journalists are supposed to be objective in a "just the facts, ma'am" kind of way. Everyone once in a while this grated on me a bit too, but honestly I couldn't get too upset about it because it was pretty hard to draw any conclusion OTHER than Shilts's from the conduct of those described. As a result, the indignation and anger over the recklessness of scientists, public officials, and community leaders felt justified and it didn't bother me as much as it would have in another journalistic context.

The one thing I disagreed with was the continual implication that Gaetan Dugas was the reason the epidemic spread so fast. While I'm sure that Dugas did spread the disease to many, many people, the focus on him in the book unfairly presents him as a sort of villain for the story when he was hardly alone in his continuing to have sex long after he should have considering his diagnosis. I thought Dugas's story was fascinating, and representative of HOW the virus spread so fast within the gay community and masked the obvious truth that no virus targets one sexual orientation over another; however, that was a set of dots that Shilts didn't really focus on. He clearly felt compelled by anger to find fault with various figures (including Dugas) rather than to note and elaborate on the fact that the disease being identified with the gay community was due only to the tragic coincidence that the lethal virus got introduced into the gay community at the exact time that promiscuity was widespread in reaction to the new-found freedom gay men were experiencing at the same exact time. I was ok with Shilts crossing the line of journalistic objectivity when the conclusions he was voicing were fairly obvious, but what he implied regarding Dugas seemed more personal and less fact-driven.

The narrator was perfect for the material- he tone really matches the tone of the text, bias and all.

9 les gens ont trouvé cela utile