Please join us at Roosevelt House for a special evening marking the publication of How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, by David France, the definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic. France’s book, acclaimed as a “masterpiece of intimate storytelling with moral purpose” by National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, is based on France’s seminal Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague.

France tells the riveting story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large, and confronted with shame and hatred, this small group of men and women chose to fight for their right to live by educating themselves and demanding to become full partners in the race for effective treatments. Around the globe, 16 million people are alive today thanks to their efforts.

Not since the publication of Randy Shilts’s classic And the Band Played On has a book measured the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms. How to Survive a Plague recounts the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), and the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the prohibitively expensive (and sometimes toxic) AZT. These activists learned to become their own researchers, lobbyists, drug smugglers, and clinicians, establishing their own newspapers, research journals, and laboratories, and as they go on to force reform in the nation’s disease-fighting agencies.

David France offers an insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights, and he has written a book that will be an essential part of the literature of AIDS.

This event is co-sponsored by The LGBT Social Science and Public Policy Center at Roosevelt House.



David France – How To Survive a Plague | Posted on November 14th, 2016 | Book Discussions, Public Programs