How to Survive a Plague

How to Survive a Plague David France Ifc Films
  • Title: How to Survive a Plague
  • Author: David France Ifc Films
  • ISBN: 9780306983498
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Hardcover
  • How to Survive a Plague David France Ifc Films How to Survive a Plague From the creator of and inspired by the seminal documentary of the same name an Oscar nominee the definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic and the powerful heroic storie
    From the creator of and inspired by the seminal documentary of the same name an Oscar nominee the definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic, and the powerful, heroic stories of the gay activists who refused to die without a fight Intimately reported, this is the story of the men and women who, watching their friends and lovers fall, ignored bFrom the creator of and inspired by the seminal documentary of the same name an Oscar nominee the definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic, and the powerful, heroic stories of the gay activists who refused to die without a fight Intimately reported, this is the story of the men and women who, watching their friends and lovers fall, ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large, and confronted with shame and hatred, chose to fight for their right to live We witness the founding of ACT UP and TAG Treatment Action Group , the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the prohibitively expensive and sometimes toxic AZT, and the gradual movement toward a lifesaving medical breakthrough 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.
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      499 David France Ifc Films
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      Published :2020-04-08T09:40:17+00:00

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    482 Comments


    1. I m on a non fiction binge, and this was a great one Quite appropriate and interesting to have read straight after Laurence Rees The Holocaust There are a number of parallels, such as the principle of survivor s guilt, and how the experience of being so heavily marginalised becomes unforgettable no matter what progress is made after the fact Reading these two books, it s just so difficult to take in Did that really happen I have an immense and bizarre hunger for how the world was once horrible B [...]

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    2. 3.5 Spanning from the summer of 1981, when the New York Times first broke the story about a rare cancer observed in homosexuals, to 1996, when protease inhibitors came onto the market and offered HIV sufferers a new lease on life, How to Survive a Plague is a comprehensive history of the AIDS crisis Especially in its early chapters, it reads like a fascinating medical mystery though we already know the answers, the book skillfully captures the ignorance and terror that reigned for so many years [...]

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    3. An insider s look at the pivotal moment in American history when AIDS became an epidemic Written in an easy to read narrative style, this book is equal parts medical, and history that includes lots of sleuthing by average people who desperately want to save their lives, and the lives of their loved ones from AIDS, despite being stonewalled by the government These ordinary citizens are collectively the Erin Brockovichs of the AIDS movement If you loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks you ll [...]

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    4. AIDS was supposed to be the next pandemic, A disease that would take out 1 in 4 of the population So far this virus has claimed around 40 million victims and it is thought that there are around 37 million still carrying the HIV or full blown AIDS virus at present These are huge numbers When it surfaced in the early 1980 s in America no one knew anything about it It was passed from individual to individual through sexual contact and once it had entered into the gay community it spread rapidly No [...]

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    5. For the first 15 or so years of the AIDS epidemic, the disease was a virtual death sentence Journalist David France, in his excellent work, How to Survive a Plague The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS , examines the years 1980 to 1996 to show how citizens in this case, mostly gay activists put government officials, drug companies, and scientists on the line to come up with drugs and other therapies to control the disease.David France focuses his book on the work being done in [...]

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    6. An insider s comprehensive and eye opening account of the citizens who changed and saved lives throughout the AIDS plague How to Survive a Plague is informative, emotional, and unique Not only was I in awe of the people who repeatedly worked to change the course of history, but the author s clear dedication was inspiring Everyone should read this book, now than ever If ever protest feels like a hopeless task, this book is proof that it isn t Ignored by the majority confronted with hate millions [...]

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    7. Silence Death As I write this, it is World AIDS Day in 2017 Last evening, the President of the United States issued a proclamation in commemoration of those who have died, and are living with, one of the worst plagues of modern history He, however, failed to mention the LGBTQ community that was ravaged by HIV AIDS In 1924, Henry Gerber of Chicago founded the Society for Human Rights, the first but short lived gay rights organization in the US Though other events later occurred to bring about eq [...]

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    8. Growing up in the 80s I really had no awareness of the spread of Aids in America One of my first memories of hearing about Aids was in science class at school where my teacher Mr Marble told everyone that it s the gays who were responsible for spreading this disease It was only during my teenage years in the 90s when I came out and befriended other gay people that I became knowledgeable about the virus It s a sad fact that some of the people I was closest to in my younger years are now HIV With [...]

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    9. This is an extraordinary book, beautifully written It will knock the wind out of you at times I was finishing it over lunch yesterday and started crying in Chipotle For those of us that experienced much of this story first hand, it is a detailed, smart and completely readable account of a harrowing time in our recent history The amazing array of characters will infuriate you, make you laugh and break your heart Read this book to see how every day citizens of this country brought about lifesaving [...]

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    10. I heard an interview that David France did on the Nov 25 2016 Inside the New York Times Book Review Podcast It was an interesting interview, and ultimately one that motivated me to pick up the book France interweaves his personal narrative with the political and medical transgressions of the AIDS epidemic I found the buyers clubs and the underground drug market particularly fascinating even when the drugs DIDN T work, there was no evidence of the drugs working, people knew they didn t work, but [...]

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    11. Where Randy Shilts drew the intricate outline of the history of the AIDS crisis in his 1987 classic, AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, David France has sculpted a three dimensional image of the herculean task of convincing the NIH and the pharmaceutical companies to research, test, and manufacture drugs that would effectively corral HIV into a disease that could be managed and survived.Unlike Shilts, who maintained a strictly detached, if dramatic, journalistic tone as he related the story like a mystery [...]

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    12. 4.5 stars I m not usually a reader of non fiction, but I found this very readable It s an amazing story of what citizens can accomplish, and how change can come about, albeit slowly I was in the medical field for a large part of this story, but based on the west coast, and really had little idea about all that was going on in New York, where this book is centered The bureaucracy didn t surprise me, nor the way the government ignored the crisis for so long and I think it s this part that makes th [...]

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    13. A thorough and eye opening account of the AIDS epidemic, beginning from its terrifying outbreak in New York in the 80s, through the development of life preserving drugs The gay community s political and health activism pioneered changes to public health and the role of the patient in medicine The community also became its own service provider after gays faced widespread discrimination from the health sector The community proactively took matters into its own hands in other areas as well, includi [...]

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    14. I listened to the audio version of this book, and having been interested in the area of AIDS activism since reading Randy Shilts And the Band Played On a number of years ago, and having appreciated the 2012 documentary with the same name as the book, was keen to refresh and update my understanding of the time.The book fulfilled its role in that regard, debunking a couple of Shilts myths concerning Patient Zero for one, and provided the reader with a warts n all account of ACT Up s activism in pa [...]

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    15. One would expect this to be a tough book, and it is just that The story, however, is the story of humanity in all its complexities, determination, humor, anger, open mindedness, small mindedness, love, hope, repeated mistakes, sometimes acknowledged, sometimes not noticed, but always moving forward, even when the road appears blocked, perhaps without hope Even without hope, taking the next step, because each step matters Ok, all drama aside, it is a dramatic story, and one with lessons we can al [...]

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    16. My review for the Chicago Tribune sandiegouniontribune cEverybody knows that the size of a book does not guarantee its quality, yet there s still something thrilling about a book of a certain heft a door stopper size tome speaks silently to a certain degree of ambition, completeness and necessity.David France s riveting and comprehensive How to Survive a Plague The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS purports, accurately, to be the definitive account of the successful struggle to [...]

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    17. Strongly recommended If you did not live through the plague years, be sure to read this Even if you did live through them there s a lot to learn from this book I knew I wanted to read this, but also feared it would be too painful to go over this history I had seen the film of course there have been novelizations of films in the past, but wonder if this is the first time a movie paved the way for a non fiction book I knew the author to be a good writer, as well as a witness to the events Although [...]

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    18. This is an astonishing book Including the glossary and notes, it tops 600 pages I am not a fast reader, and I read it in a week I should say at the outset that I had a personal interest in the material, having lost a partner to AIDS in Boston in 1984 and many friends in the subsequent years This book has frequently been compared to Randy Shilts And the Band Played On but is tightly focussed on the formation of ACT UP and its impact on the ultimate development of life saving drugs Despite a stag [...]

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    19. I was born in 1981, the same year an article about a new gay cancer was published, signaling the start of the HIV AIDS pandemic By the time I was old enough to really understand what AIDS was, the YM magazines I read were already full of articles about pretty blonde girls living with the disease, detailed info about condom use, and the oft repeated reminder that, anyone can get AIDS It wasn t until later that I realized that AIDS originated in the gay community, and it wasn t until MUCH later th [...]

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    20. 4.5 starsAn absolutely amazing book by David France Some Incredibly thorough research on the AIDS epidemic crisis from its infancy and early cases of 1981 until 1996 when some protease inhibitors were finally making a difference The book spotlights some of the early fighters of this epidemic including ACT UP activists who were instrumental in fast tracking certain drugs by any means necessary My only real fault with the book is that some sections were bogged down in dense or detailed information [...]

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    21. The first part of this book would rate a 5 from me, but the second part was so detailed, every meeting was described and discussed, every attendee delineated and I found myself becoming bogged down For the sake of history, this level of detail is important, but not necessarily placed in a book for wide consumption.I was very interested because as a nurse I cared for AIDS patients in the eighties The patients were desperately ill and there was often much complexity in the family dynamics and the [...]

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    22. France is not a great writer, but the details are riveting, and the implications are frightening our government cannot be trusted with a widespread health epidemic without help from its dying citizens Shame on the Reagan administration.

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    23. This book is brilliant, devastating and inspiring As a survivor of the Plague years, I relived the nightmare I moved to San Francisco in 1975 at age 20, thrilled by the militant freedom of the gay movement, and in 1979 moved back to my hometown of Manhattan for a year before returning to San Francisco in 1980 San Francisco and Manhattan were the epicenters for gay liberation, and to my horror became the epicenters of the Plague The 70 s had been a decade of joyous liberation and freedom, but the [...]

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    24. This book is a wonderful and highly thought provoking read that seriously revitalized the way I think about activism These grassroots activists had everything working against them and still fought nonstop for meaningful change Even striking is that so many of these activists knew without a shadow of doubt that they would never live to see the product of their struggle They still plugged away at their mission in the hopes that other people would never experience what they had.How to Survive a Pl [...]

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    25. I thought I would skim this book and get the general idea but I read every page France alternates between his own experience in New York as a young, gay journalist to the thoroughly researched story of how AIDS unfolded into the East coast community The transition between the two was seamless, and he writes in a way that you care so much about the activists doing the work I appreciated how he intentionally dropped culture details to remind me of my age and where I was in my own life throughout t [...]

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    26. This book proved to be pretty much everything I hoped it would be in providing a definitive account of AIDS in America from the initial detection of the problem to the discovery of protease inhibitors in the mid nineties France is an engaging and modest narrator who saw friends and loved ones die around him but never gave up fighting The background, of course, was one of institutionalised homophobia, scientists delaying the search for a cure as they sought professional fame and recognition and t [...]

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    27. Powerful This books takes the reader painstakingly through the story of the AIDS epidemic from the beginning to now Not only do you learn the history and facts, sometimes in excruciating detail, but you are introduced to the people who made a difference in finding a way to stem the illness This is a hard book to read, made better by the personal stories of the AIDS victims and those surrounding them I read it in fits and spurts which made it difficult to follow I suggest you read this when you [...]

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    28. An impressive feat of reporting Sometimes, the level of detail definitely becomes boring to read, but I understand why he included it all It s definitely a leave nothing out history I liked it best when it was most personal at other times the book felt too emotionally distant, too coldly medical I also found it difficult to remember and invest myself in all of the characters But it s such important and impressive work.

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    29. Oof It was incredibly difficult and necessary to read I could only read about 10 pages before needing a break Growing up, safe sex was emphasized and reading that people were so blase about it was very interesting It was also upsetting to read about the greed and infighting that kept scientific discoveries about the virus from being published.David France deftly weaves personal and community history as well as scientific history and development I will watch the documentary that was made same nam [...]

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    30. I wanted of what the prologue seemed to promise what happened to the generation that survived and what did surviving do to them But overall a very good, human account.

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