How to Survive a Plague

The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

4.45 based on 421 ratings & 107 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 01.12.2016
ISBN: 9781509839414
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

'This superbly written chronicle will stand as a towering work in its field' Sunday Times

'Inspiring, uplifting and necessary reading' - Steve Silberman author of Neurotribes, Financial Times

How to Survive a Plague by David France is the riveting, powerful and profoundly moving story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Around the globe, the 15.8 million people taking anti-AIDS drugs today are alive thanks to their efforts.

Not since the publication of Randy Shilts's now classic And the Band Played On in 1987 has a book sought to measure the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms.

Weaving together the stories of dozens of individuals, this is an insider's account of a pivotal moment in our history and one that changed the way that medical science is practised worldwide.

In the media

Riveting account of the effort by citizens and scientists alike to combat AIDS in its devastating early years. France moved to New York fresh out of college, in 1981, and he focusses on the city, where nearly half of the gay population was infected with H.I.V. before the virus was discovered. Threaded with poignant personal recollection, his history is formidable in scope and profoundly humane. It’s also a study in the power of protest and civil disobedience, bound to be useful in the days ahead
New Yorker
Tells the sweeping story of how successful HIV/AIDS treatments were often made available – or even possible – by grassroots movements . . . A hugely dramatic story.
National Post (Canada)
David France managed to simultaneously break my heart and rekindle my anger in just the first few pages of his breathtakingly important new book . . . Riveting.
Washington Post