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Download How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS Audiobook

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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David France Narrator: Rory O'Malley Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 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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Quotes & Awards

  • How to Survive a Plague is epoch-making: the whole social and scientific history of AIDS, brilliantly told.  Informative and entertaining, suspenseful, moving, and personal. Edmund White, author of Our Young Man
  • As one generation grows up with the misconception that AIDS is nothing more than a manageable illness, another grows old with the fear that the epidemic’s early days will disappear into the fog of history. How to Survive a Plague is the book for both generations. France invokes the terror and confusion of those dark times while simultaneously providing a clear-eyed timeline of the epidemic’s emergence and the disparate, often dissonant forces that emerged to fight it. Dale Peck
  • David France is uniquely positioned to bear witness to the science and politics of the AIDS epidemic, its deeply personal impact, and the activists who refused to be silenced by it: courageous and brilliant, often selfless, willing to fight even as they struggle with death, but always fully human. From the story’s beginning, France was on the ground doing hard-hitting reporting on the plague while living its toll in the most intimate of ways. How to Survive a Plague is a definitive, long-awaited and essential account of the plague years—haunting and hopeful, devastating and uplifting. Incredibly important. Rebecca Skloot
  • How to Survive a Plague is both a great and an important book, and we owe David France an enormous debt of gratitude for writing it. At once global and achingly intimate, his story provokes righteous rage, despair, the blackest of humor, heartbreak and, finally, blessedly, hard-won hope... for all of us. You will not soon forget these smart, courageous, dying young men. In fact, let’s call them heroes, since they were. Richard Russo
  • David France brilliantly chronicles AIDS in America during the 1980s and 1990s… Powerful… American history, memoir, public health, and a call-to-action are perfectly and passionately blended here. Spectacular and soulful. Booklist, starred review
  • Heroic and heartbreaking and magnificent history throughout, How to Survive a Plague is one of the great tales of our time: the story of incredibly brave and determined men and women who defied government, the pharmaceutical industry, vicious homophobia, and the death sentence of AIDS to overwhelm an awful scourge. These gay activists—refusing to die without a fight—were vital in staunching the epidemic. Their resistance and cunning—while so many of their bodies were weakening and failing—will remain as seminal to medical history and humanity as the efforts of Pasteur and Salk. Carl Bernstein
  • As one generation grows up with the misconception that AIDS is nothing more than a manageable illness, another grows old with the fear that the epidemic’s early days will disappear into the fog of history. How to Survive a Plague is the book for both generations. France has pulled off the seemingly impossible here, invoking the terror and confusion of those dark times while simultaneously providing a clear-eyed timeline of the epidemic’s emergence and the disparate, often dissonant forces that emerged to fight it. Dale Peck, author of Visions and Revisions: Coming of Age in the Age of AIDS
  • How to Survive a Plague is both a great and an important book, and we owe David France an enormous debt of gratitude for writing it. At once global and achingly intimate, his story provokes righteous rage, despair, the blackest of humor, heartbreak and, finally, blessedly, hard-won hope...for all of us. You will not soon forget these smart, courageous, dying young men. In fact, let's call them heroes, since they were. Richard Russo, author of Everybody’s Fool
  • How to Survive a Plague is epoch-making: the whole social and scientific history of AIDS, brilliantly told.  Informative and entertaining, suspenseful, moving, and personal. Edmund White, author of Our Young Man
  • “This is a masterpiece of intimate storytelling with moral purpose, a contemplation not so only of an epidemic of illness but also of an epidemic of resilience. It’s a book about courage and kindness and anger and joy, written with fierce, passionate intensity and utter conviction. Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
  • Prepare to have your heart buoyed and broken in this riveting account… In unflinching, brutally honest detail, France traces the lives of the people behind the constellations of aid and advocacy movements and presents their struggles in a way that will have readers stirred by each diagnosis, cheering the efforts to find a cure, and growing frustrated at the political establishments that ignored the terrible tragedy as it unfolded… This highly engaging account is a must-read for anyone interested in epidemiology, civil rights, gay rights, public health, and American history. Library Journal, starred review
  • David France brilliantly chronicles AIDS in America during the 1980s and 1990s… Powerful… American history, memoir, public health, and a call-to-action are perfectly and passionately blended here. Spectacular and soulful. Booklist, starred review
  • A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history. Kirkus
  • Heroic and heartbreaking and magnificent history throughout, How to Survive a Plague is one of the great tales of our time: the story of incredibly brave and determined men and women who defied government, the pharmaceutical industry, vicious homophobia, and the death sentence of AIDS to overwhelm an awful scourge. These gay activists—refusing to die without a fight—were vital in staunching the epidemic. Their resistance and cunning will remain as seminal to medical history and humanity as the efforts of Pasteur and Salk. Carl Bernstein
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