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Chronicle of an Epidemic

John Ryle, 19 May 1988

And the band played on: Politics, People and the Aids Epidemic 
by Randy Shilts.
Viking, 630 pp., £15.95, March 1988, 0 670 82270 1
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Crisis: Heterosexual Behaviour in the Age of Aids 
by William Masters, Virginia Johnson and Robert Kilodny.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £9.95, March 1988, 0 297 79392 6
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The Forbidden Zone 
by Michael Lesy.
Deutsch, 250 pp., £11.95, February 1988, 0 233 98203 5
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... blur the effects of any new epidemic. Aids is just one more in a bundle of afflictions. Randy Shilts argues convincingly in And the band played on, a massive chronicle of the epidemic from its putative origin in the mid-Seventies up to the mid-Eighties, that public health agencies and news media in the United States dawdled in their ...

Here was a plague

Tom Crewe, 27 September 2018

How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed Aids 
by David France.
Picador, 624 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 5098 3940 7
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Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic 
by Richard A. McKay.
Chicago, 432 pp., £26.50, November 2017, 978 0 226 06395 9
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Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-90 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 314 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78487 387 5
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Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991-94 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 388 pp., £9.99, August 2018, 978 1 78487 516 9
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The Ward 
by Gideon Mendel.
Trolley, 88 pp., £25, December 2017, 978 1 907112 56 0
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... I was less than a month old. From left to right, Oscar Moore (c.1994); Derek Jarman in 1982; Randy Shilts (c.1987) The first time​ I had sex with a man, I lay awake for hours afterwards, thinking about Aids. Everything I didn’t know entered and filled the room; questions swerved through the darkness, fear coagulated on the sheets. Had we been ...

Homophobes and Homofibs

Adam Mars-Jones, 30 November 1995

Homosexuality: A History 
by Colin Spencer.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £20, September 1995, 1 85702 143 6
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Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality 
by Andrew Sullivan.
Picador, 224 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 0 330 34453 6
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Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography 
by David Halperin.
Oxford, 246 pp., £14.99, September 1995, 0 19 509371 2
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... of sorts. Some of those who argue for the right of gays to serve in the military, like the late Randy Shilts in his vast book Conduct Unbecoming, seem willing to endorse absolutely everything about the military and the policies it is called on to enforce, except its refusal to admit gay people. This may not be a good bargain. Sullivan decries the ...

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