Ah! I'm finally finished! I feel like I've been reading this book for months but, that is absolutely no indication of how I felt about the book. It was great.
And The Band Played On was written in 1987 and chronicles that beginning of the AIDS epidemic from the very beginning. It was extremely, extremely detailed and thoroughly researched. Randy Shilts interviewed the people involve extensively as well as poured over documents and medical records and it shows.
While this book was a good read, it is extremely dark and disturbing. It goes into how the government response to the AIDS epidemic was extremely slow due to the fact that AIDS struck homosexuals first and hardest in the beginning. Shilts tries to bring in paralells to the governments response to Legionnaire's Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, both of which struck more "typical" socio-ecomonic groups.
I have to imagine when this book came out, a lot of people were not pleased. He really takes it to the most of the characters in the book for not doing all they could have to save lives. We know now in 2012 how big of a deal AIDS is and it was intriguing learning how it all began.
As far as recommending this book; I really do. But, I am interested in medical topics, especially ones having to due with communicable diseases. I'm sure all of you don't feel the same way. It was a GREAT read, but I don't know if everyone would enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Now, I'm moving on to less intense books for a while; it is summer after all!