Upon it's first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. An international bestseller, a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and made into a critically acclaimed movie, Shilts' expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80's while the most trusted institutions ignored or denied the threat. One of the few true modern classics, it changed and framed how AIDS was discussed in the following years. Now republished in a special 20th Anniversary edition, And the Band Played On remains one of the essential books of our time.
Randy Shilts was born in 1951, in Davenport, Iowa. One of the first openly gay journalists hired at a major newspaper, he worked for the San Francisco Chronicle for thirteen years. He died of AIDS in 1994 at his home in the Sonoma County redwoods in California. He was the author of The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982), And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic (1987), and Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military (1993). He also wrote extensively for many major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, and The Advocate. And the Band Played On was made into a docudrama that was broadcast on HBO in 1993.
“Shilts successfully weaves comprehensive investigative reporting and commercial page-turning pacing, political intrigue, and personal tragedy into a landmark book . . . Its importance cannot be overstated.” —Publishers Weekly
“A monumental history.” —The Washington Post Book World
“The most thorough, comprehensive exploration of the AIDS epidemic to date . . . It is fascinating, frightening, and essential reading.” —San Francisco Sentinel
“Rivals in power and intensity, and in the brilliance of its reporting and writing, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.” —The Boston Globe
“A heroic work of journalism.” —The New York Times