A Plague on All Our Houses: Medical Intrigue, Hollywood, and the Discovery of AIDS

Bruce J. Hillman. ForeEdge, $29.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-61168-875-7
Hillman (The Man Who Stalked Einstein), professor of radiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, chronicles the frightening early days of America’s AIDS epidemic in this riveting narrative. He relies on interviews with Michael Gottlieb, who was the first to describe the disease in 1981; Gottlieb’s ex-wife Cindy; and associates in the “scantly explored world of university physicians.” Hillman shares how Gottlieb, then an untenured assistant professor at UCLA, went up against bosses and administrators who isolated him; relates the denialism of the Reagan administration, which wouldn’t address the epidemic until 1987; and addresses the politics of research and rewards. Gottlieb rose to fame as a well-spoken medical expert, treating AIDS-stricken actor Rock Hudson and collaborating with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor in establishing a foundation dedicated to AIDS research. Hillman’s intriguing portrait will deepen readers’ understanding of those who worked tirelessly to solve a medical mystery, nobly yearning to save lives and leave an indelible mark on human history. Hillman argues that the larger story of AIDS can teach “important lessons for the future” on how nations can better deal with emerging epidemics. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-1-61168-996-9
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