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Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial, and the AIDS Epidemic in the South Hardcover – November 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mr. Skerritt’s book is both poignant and beautiful, even as the subject is tragic.  His writing evokes an immediate and powerful reaction from the reader. . . . It is a must read for anyone concerned with HIV/AIDS or social justice.” — Paul Kawata, Executive Director, National Minority AIDS Council


“A compassionate and beautifully written account of the arrival and devastation caused by AIDS in the poor, rural South. [. . .] This is a history worth telling, a story deftly crafted by an excellent journalist.” —Patrice Gaines, author of Laughing in the Dark, former reporter for the Washington Post


"Powerful and beautifully written...Skerritt's book succeeds not only as an excellent work journalism, but a powerful story of the damaged lives of the men and women as well as the families left behind in the wake of this awful disease." —The Post & Courier

"A powerful debut...The author makes a strong case that the shame is not with the dying but with those who turn away from the reality of this epidemic."
Kirkus Reviews


"Skerritt is skillful in showing the complex feelings and traditions that tragically keep many southern AIDS sufferers from seeking help; his portraits of the group of health care pros who do wonderful work, trying to deal with the crisis in the face of pervasive death, is moving nearly beyond words. This is the kind of book you wish you could place in a lot of people's hands and suggest they read it."         —Creative Loafing Charlotte

About the Author

Andrew Skerritt is a longtime journalist who has contributed to publications including the St. Petersburg Times, Charlotte NC Observer, and the Tallahassee Democrat. A native of London, England, he grew up on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he teaches journalism at Florida A&M University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569768145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569768143
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Joe Williams on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I don't normally read non-fiction books, but this is a powerfully moving debut. I was compelled to buy this book because I wanted to learn more about the AIDS epidemic, especially since I was born and raised in the south. I was expecting to read a lot of statistics that I wouldn't understand, but surprisingly, this was beautifully written and read more like a fictional novel instead of a factual account of history and events. While I learned about the beginning of AIDS and the many humans lives that have been impacted by it, I had to keep reminding myself that these were true renditions. So with that in mind, I have to say that sometimes, fact really can be stranger than fiction.

The author presented the material in a way that was emotionally compelling, but also difficult at times to continue reading. I could tell that the author not only empathized with the highlighted victims, but he genuinely cared for them and their caretakers. I appreciate the concept behind this publication, and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the true history of AIDS, why it's so widespread in the south, and why people are dying in shame when they really don't have to. I also predict that this will be an award winning piece of journalism, and I'm proud to be the first reader to review it on Amazon.

Barbara Joe Williams, author & publisher (Amani Publishing)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DeeIngram on January 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for anyone over age 16. In this well-organized work, writer Andrew Skerritt is helping to obliterate a culture of shame and create more dialogue on HIV/AIDS and multiple subjects still considered taboo, particularly in rural areas, even in this day and age. Bravo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Joe Williams on December 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I don't normally read non-fiction books, but this is a powerfully moving debut. I was compelled to buy this book because I wanted to learn more about the AIDS epidemic, especially since I was born and raised in the south. I was expecting to read a lot of statistics that I wouldn't understand, but surprisingly, this was beautifully written and read more like a fictional novel instead of a factual account of history and events. While I learned about the beginning of AIDS and the many humans lives that have been impacted by it, I had to keep reminding myself that these were true renditions. So with that in mind, I have to say that sometimes, fact really can be stranger than fiction.

The author presented the material in a way that was emotionally compelling, but also difficult at times to continue reading. I could tell that the author not only empathized with the highlighted victims, but he genuinely cared for them and their caretakers. I appreciate the concept behind this publication, and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the true history of AIDS, why it's so widespread in the south, and why people are dying in shame when they really don't have to. I also predict that this will be an award winning piece of journalism, and I'm proud to be the first reader to review it on Amazon.

Barbara Joe Williams, author & publisher (Amani Publishing)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clover on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I live in Clover and work in the area. I must say that before reading this book I was not aware of the AIDS epidemic in this area. It really is a silent killer. This book was full of information on the spreading and treatment, or lack there of, in the south. I must say that it has really opened my eyes. This is a must read!! I have enclosed a link to a BBC documentary with Rev. Patricia Starr.
[...]
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