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Randy shilts contributions toward influencing america s

Shilts has dug deep into the history of the AIDs crisis: He has provided a comprehensive, horrific history of the disease, its victims, and the uncaring government who allowe The gay plague got covered only because it finally had struck people who counted, people who were not homosexuals.

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

He has provided a comprehensive, horrific history of the disease, its victims, and the uncaring government who allowed it to spread out of control. I'm interested in the history of diseases, but then I'm interested in the history of a lot of things. Technology, art, religion, democracy. But Shilts did not have a problem. His writing style feels almost like you are reading a dark, dramatic novel as he paints a vivid picture of every scene. It's so very compelling. This simple truth seems obvious and yet it is easy to forget amid a sea of fantasy pageturners-- reality is so much more haunting and terrible than fiction.

  1. To the extent he was caught up in the passion of the the time, I can't really fault him.
  2. For those of you who have seen Sean Penn in Milk, the movie only provided glimpse into the complex man and the times he lived in. Dianne Feinstein hems and haws over whom to appoint to replace Milk on the Board of Supervisors, being fair-minded at some times and voicing odd prejudices at others.
  3. There are so many things I could say about this incredible book but I will leave it on these two thoughts. Shilts has dug deep into the history of the AIDs crisis.

Homophobia is not surprising to me in this often shitty world we live in, and yet I still managed to be shocked at the way medical professionals, government officials, and the media repeatedly failed the gay victims at the centre of this crisis. We have teams around the world whose job it is to quickly isolate and stop infectious diseases before they can become epidemics. Shilts uses Legion Fever or Legionnaires' disease as an example.

When there was an outbreak of Legion Fever in 1976, the government poured money into it and the CDC acted quickly to stop its spread. 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's a fast-paced, fascinating, and awful read that looks at a very recent area of history. If there was ever a perfect argument against bigotry, it is this disastrous way the AIDs epidemic was handled in its wake, and the millions of people who have died because of it.

I also recommend checking out the movie "The Normal Heart" for a more visual experience of this history.