Number of page: 640
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Category: Health & Fitness
A New York Times 2016 Notable BookThe definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic—from the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary How to Survive a Plague.
A riveting, powerful telling of the story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large, and confronted with shame and hatred, this small group of men and women chose to fight for their right to live by educating themselves and demanding to become full partners in the race for effective treatments. Around the globe, 16 million people are alive today thanks to their efforts. Not since the publication of Randy Shilts’s classic And the Band Played On has a book measured the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms. In dramatic fashion, we witness the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), and the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the prohibitively expensive (and sometimes toxic) AZT. We watch as these activists learn to become their own researchers, lobbyists, drug smugglers, and clinicians, establishing their own newspapers, research journals, and laboratories, and as they go on to force reform in the nation’s disease-fighting agencies.
With his unparalleled access to this community David France illuminates the lives of extraordinary characters, including the closeted Wall Street trader-turned-activist, the high school dropout who found purpose battling pharmaceutical giants in New York, the South African physician who helped establish the first officially recognized buyers’ club at the height of the epidemic, and the public relations executive fighting to save his own life for the sake of his young daughter.
Expansive yet richly detailed, this is an insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights. Powerful, heart-wrenching, and finally exhilarating, How to Survive a Plague is destined to become an essential part of the literature of AIDS.
AIDS at 30
A history of the most insidious epidemic of our time
Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge
In the short turbulent history of AIDS research and treatment the boundaries between scientist insiders and lay outsiders have been crisscrossed to a degree never before seen in medical history Steven Epstein s astute and readable investigation focuses on the critical question of how certainty is constructed or deconstructed leading us through the views of medical researchers activists policy makers and others to discover how knowledge about AIDS emerges out of what he calls credibility struggles Epstein shows the extent to which AIDS research has been a social and political phenomenon and how the AIDS movement has transformed biomedical research practices through its capacity to garner credibility by novel strategies Epstein finds that nonscientist AIDS activists have gained enough of a voice in the scientific world to shape NIH sponsored research to a remarkable extent Because of the blurring of roles and responsibilities the production of biomedical knowledge about AIDS does not he says follow the pathways common to science indeed AIDS research can only be understood as a field that is unusually broad public and contested He concludes by analyzing recent moves to democratize biomedicine arguing that although AIDS activists have set the stage for new challenges to scientific authority all social movements that seek to democratize expertise face unusual difficulties Avoiding polemics and accusations Epstein provides a benchmark account of the AIDS epidemic to date one that will be as useful to activists policy makers and general readers as to sociologists physicians and scientists
The Epidemic: A History of Aids
From the Castro bathhouses to AZT and the denial of AIDS in South Africa this sweeping look at AIDS covers the epidemic from all angles and across the world Engel seamlessly weaves together science politics and culture writing with an even hand noting the excesses of the more radical edges of the ACT UP movement as well as the conservative religious leaders who thought AIDS victims deserved what they got The story of AIDS is one of the most compelling human dramas of our time both in its profound tragedy and in the extraordinary scientific efforts impelled on its behalf For gay Americans it has been the story of the past generation redefining the community and the community s sexuality For the Third World AIDS has created endless devastation toppling economies social structures and whole villages and regions And the worst may yet be to come AIDS is expanding quickly into India Russia China and elsewhere while still raging insub Saharan Africa A distinguished medical historian Engel lets his characters speak for themselves Whether gay activists government officials public health professionals scientists or frightened parents of schoolchildren they responded as best they could to tragic happenstance that emerged seemingly from nowhere There is much drama here and human weakness and heroism too Writing with vivid immediacy Engel allows us to relive the short but tumultuous history of a modern scourge
Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight against AIDS
In the late 1980s after a decade spent engaged in more routine interest group politics thousands of lesbians and gay men responded to the AIDS crisis by defiantly and dramatically taking to the streets But by the early 1990s the organization they founded ACT UP was no more even as the AIDS epidemic raged on Weaving together interviews with activists extensive research and reflections on the author s time as a member of the organization Moving Politics is the first book to chronicle the rise and fall of ACT UP highlighting a key factor in its trajectory emotion Surprisingly overlooked by many scholars of social movements emotion Gould argues plays a fundamental role in political activism From anger to hope pride to shame and solidarity to despair feelings played a significant part in ACT UP s provocative style of protest which included raucous demonstrations die ins and other kinds of street theater Detailing the movement s public triumphs and private setbacks Moving Politics is the definitive account of ACT UP s origin development and decline as well as a searching look at the role of emotion in contentious politics