Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America

John-Manuel Andriote, Author, John-Manuel Andriote, Author
John-Manuel Andriote, Author, John-Manuel Andriote, Author University of Chicago Press $30 (494p) ISBN 978-0-226-02049-5
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 06/01/1999
The AIDS pandemic has been chronicled in numerous books, from Randy Shilts's And the Band Played On to Steven Epstein's Impure Science, many of which have focused specifically on the disease's political, social, psychological or medical aspects. In his first book, Andriote, who has covered AIDS and gay politics in the gay and mainstream press, offers a comprehensive survey of the many ways AIDS has transfigured gay social and political life. With a mix of straightforward journalism, cultural analysis and personal reminiscence, his study focuses on the period from the early 1980s, when AIDS first surfaced in gay urban neighborhoods, to the 1996 visit of President and Hillary Clinton to the AIDS quilt in Washington, D.C. Much of the book is devoted to histories of AIDS service organizations, organized political initiatives and grassroots activist endeavors through which Andriote creates a detailed panorama of the impact of AIDS and the waves of lesbian and gay civil rights organizing. He is best at sketching in the cultural context, as when he explicates the long-standing psychological misunderstandings of homosexuality or quotes writers such as Andrew Holleran and John Preston to illustrate the literary response to AIDS. He is also careful never to whitewash gay in-fighting and deals sensitively with the complicated race politics of AIDS funding, resulting in a well-researched and nuanced portrait of the many levels on which this grave disease has wrought both destruction and transformation. (June)
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