I have never learned so much. This book is the bible when it comes to the history and thorough examination of this horrible and tragic ordeal of the AIDS crisis. Very structured. Dynamic story telling. Passionately created through education of the subject, from start to present. Utterly phenomenal in scale.
There is also a wonderful movie that HBO did with the same name, that movie is based on this book. The movie itself is what I consider one of the greatest Television movies to ever be created. The book is one of those books that goes on the list of most important books ever written. I thought I knew AIDS. I thought I knew the basis of it, boy was I wrong. This is an amazing journey throughout this horrible reality of a true mass murderer.
AIDS is the monster in the darkness, the boogieman under the bed, but, it is all around us. It’s a terrible beast that infects all walks of life, from baby to elderly. This book expresses the beginning of this unflinching beast. I have known four persons that have died with AIDS. Four great friends that slowly, horribly, withered away into nothing.
AIDS not only damages the person that has it, but family, friends, lovers, all take that trip. Thankfully this day and age, HIV /AIDS patients have more of chance at living longer. In the early 80’s, it was death, plain and simple. It was painful and in most cases the person lingered a horrible painful death. This book introduces you to main persons involved. From the first diagnosed, to the first reported death. It shows you the reality of how this monster spread, and how so many had, lived with it, and passed it on.
The books showcase the politics, the science and most of all the medical reality of this Beast known as AIDS. I think we failed ourselves, because it could have been halted, and the growth of this Beast could have been maintained. But the past is the past, it can’t be changed. We must live now, and further study, and teach about AIDS. I think we are sadly forgetting the horrors of this Beast. AIDS is still here, still deadly, still a vibrant killer.
And the Band Played On is a book that I feel everyone should read to educate themselves on this horrible subject. Randy Shilts makes a truthful, and bold statement. We are to blame for the wide spread horror that is AIDS. The government and political mumbo jumbo that allowed this beast to further itself through labeling it “oh it’s a gay thing” and the medical field fighting who can get their name on the subject and be recognized in the medical field. The asinine idea of who can be published first. The chopping of the budget toward research. Red Cross’s stupidity, and all the other tape cutting reality of the government that led to what happened, and this book shows, explores it, and tells the truth.
One of the best examples of Investigative journalism. Randy Shilts not only crafted one of the greatest researched books, but he gave a voice to all those victims of this horrible beast. Sadly, this passionate and power writer, died of this horrible Beast in 1994. Shilts left a legacy through this book and gave a voice to every victim that this monster silenced.
My Rating: 5 out of 5