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With page-turning prose and encounters to make Andy Warhol jealous, this exceptional memoir of the AIDS epidemic and Act Up is the only history you need to understand the fight for respect and action when it felt like the world was going up in flames.
Strub takes you from the closeted world of Beltway politicians, where where outward prudery butts heads with acts of desire, to New York City, a place where he finally felt safe to come out, just as strong leadership was needed to get the rest of the world to take notice and take action against HIV/AIDS.
A superb recording with exceptional narration by David Drake, "Body Counts" is an inspiration.
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Would you listen to Body Counts again? Why?
Oh yeah, Strub weaves important milestones and facts in the battle against AIDS with personal tales from the front. It's one man's story but you learn a lot of the history of HIV, from initial denial of the scourge by the nation (and by gay men), to the widespread fear and panic, the initial push to get federal funding and recognition from the Regan and Bush administrations, the failure of Clinton's, the fight for treatments and drug approval, all the way to the thoughtful reflections as the author recovered from near death, and as AIDS and HIV, along with the intense activism, moved to back burners. With Sean Stub finding a renewed vigor to fight the mind-boggling horrors of criminalizing people with HIV, my money's on Strub and justice.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Strub himself, of course. One's man's story, struggles and fight that pretty much encompasses the whole history of the disease. He brings to the front important people that may have been lost to time, like the pivotal activism of Stephen Gendin, POZ columnist and important in FDA drug approval reform. Strub recounts his friendships with Keith Haring, Gore Vidal, John Berendt-there's, so there's plenty of celebrities here, though none told just for kicks or name dropping, only for their importance in his amazing life.
Which character – as performed by David Drake – was your favorite?
Strub again. Nuanced performance.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
AIDS. Has. Met. Its. Match.
Any additional comments?
One of the best parts of the book are Strub's accounts of his youthful job as elevator operator in the U.S. Capital. Really funny interactions with some powerful people. Secret passages, alcoholic senators...good stuff.
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