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The Journalist of Castro StreetThe Life of Randy Shilts$
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Andrew E. Stoner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042485

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042485.001.0001

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Strike Up the Band

Strike Up the Band

(p.155) Chapter 10 Strike Up the Band
The Journalist of Castro Street

Andrew E. Stoner

University of Illinois Press

Shilts begins work on And the Band Played On for St. Martin’s Press – despite an initial struggle to find a publisher for the work. Shilts tackles the complexity of writing about an ongoing infectious disease pandemic with an unknown ending. Shilts unveils his thesis that AIDS succeeded because of government neglect, gay leaders public relations concerns, and news media reluctance to cover gay-related issues. Shilts employs “new journalism” techniques to tell the story of AIDS including reconstructed dialogue and internal thoughts. Shilts learns of the existence of a gay man infected with HIV still sexually active. Shilts uncovers and misinterprets the first “cluster study” on KS victims in southern California. Initial criticism of Shilts for “Patient Zero” concept raised.

Keywords:   And the Band Played On, St. Martin’s Press, Fred Hill, writers agent, author advances, AIDS epidemic, Ronald Reagan, gay leaders, blood banks, mainstream media coverage of homosexuals, Dr. Don Francis, writing process, Hepatitis B study, Harry Reasoner, CBS News, 60 Minutes, Gaetan Dugas, Patient Zero, epidemiology, Kaposi’s sarcoma, cluster study, Dr. William Darrow

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