How to Survive a Plague by David France
The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS

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All this, as the author notes in closing, was accomplished by angry, vocal people out in the streets—a very good lesson for activists engaged in other issues today. A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic, here is the incredible story of the grassroots activists whose work turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Almost universally ignored, these men and women learned to become their own researchers, lobbyists, and drug smugglers, established their own newspapers and research journals, and went on to force reform in the nation’s disease-fighting agencies. From the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary of the same name, How to Survive a Plague is an unparalleled insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights.
 

About David France

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DAVID FRANCE is the author of Our Fathers, a book about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, which Showtime adapted into a film. He coauthored The Confession with former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. He is a contributing editor for New York and has written as well for The New York Times. His documentary film How to Survive a Plague was an Oscar finalist, won a Directors Guild Award and a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Emmys, among other accolades.
Author Residence: New York, NY
Author Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
 
Published November 29, 2016 by Vintage. 653 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for How to Survive a Plague
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Sep 20 2016

All this, as the author notes in closing, was accomplished by angry, vocal people out in the streets—a very good lesson for activists engaged in other issues today. A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Sullivan on Nov 21 2016

This is the first and best history of this courage, and a reminder that if gay life and culture flourish for a thousand years, people will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Zane Schwartz on Nov 30 2016

...France has produced a history that is less than complete. This book focuses on the United States and the mostly white gay activists...Saskatchewan’s deadly outbreak has received minimal press coverage and little government attention. France’s book offers a blueprint on how to change that.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Bert Archer on Nov 27 2016

France tells a story that has lessons for us about the power of empathy over sympathy, and the degree to which unreasonable people can twist even the most powerful bureaucracies and governments into useful shapes.

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