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Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America Hardcover – June 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0226020495 ISBN-10: 0226020495 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 494 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226020495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226020495
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

AIDS may have become a manageable disease syndrome, at least in Western countries, at the end of the 1990s, but the crisis has hardly run its course; as HIV continues to mutate, doomsayers predict even worse epidemics closely resembling AIDS in their etiology and social ramifications. Likewise, despite a large extant body of commentary--what Paula Treichler has called the "epidemic of signification"--work continues apace on the syndrome's history, a chronicle of devastating physical consequences and troublesome politics that for years prevented government and health officials, to say nothing of religious leaders and media pundits, from responding in the most effective, compassionate manner. But, given all the plague chronicles from historians, artists, musicians, and literati, how can one construct another comprehensive history of equal necessity? That was the question facing journalist John-Manuel Andriote when friends encouraged him to emphasize the effects of the syndrome on "the nation's hardest hit community, gay men." As such an account, intercutting personal testimonies with Andriote's straightforward, though righteously indignant, narrative, Victory Deferred serves a very useful purpose.

Andriote sets the stage for the identification of AIDS as a distinct political issue and disease syndrome by describing U.S. gay life of the 1970s, an era inaugurated by Stonewall and characterized by parallel increases in political activism and promiscuity. As the one fueled the other, he argues, gay men were rehearsing for the struggle that their sexual behavior would, in a sense, later require. Unfortunately, Andriote makes mistakes common to certain forms of AIDS reportage and thoroughly deconstructed in AIDS theory--calling it an STD that men "contract," for example--that go hand in hand with stereotypical foreshadowing ("little did they know") and foresight ("this would help in the fight against AIDS"). He admirably strives to avoid political correctness, however, and makes good use of his varied sources, ending with the precarious but hopeful '90s. Victory Deferred in no way supplants the indispensable work of predecessors such as Dennis Altman and Douglas Crimp, but Andriote has nevertheless written a fine overview of the 20th century's last major epidemic. --Robert Burns Neveldine

From Publishers Weekly

The AIDS pandemic has been chronicled in numerous books, from Randy Shilts's And the Band Played On to Steven Epstein's Impure Science, many of which have focused specifically on the disease's political, social, psychological or medical aspects. In his first book, Andriote, who has covered AIDS and gay politics in the gay and mainstream press, offers a comprehensive survey of the many ways AIDS has transfigured gay social and political life. With a mix of straightforward journalism, cultural analysis and personal reminiscence, his study focuses on the period from the early 1980s, when AIDS first surfaced in gay urban neighborhoods, to the 1996 visit of President and Hillary Clinton to the AIDS quilt in Washington, D.C. Much of the book is devoted to histories of AIDS service organizations, organized political initiatives and grassroots activist endeavors through which Andriote creates a detailed panorama of the impact of AIDS and the waves of lesbian and gay civil rights organizing. He is best at sketching in the cultural context, as when he explicates the long-standing psychological misunderstandings of homosexuality or quotes writers such as Andrew Holleran and John Preston to illustrate the literary response to AIDS. He is also careful never to whitewash gay in-fighting and deals sensitively with the complicated race politics of AIDS funding, resulting in a well-researched and nuanced portrait of the many levels on which this grave disease has wrought both destruction and transformation.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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You can make it through anything.
Recommended with sincerest praise as possibly the best book I've ever read.
John McConnell
The author tells her story with great sensitivity and candor.
jan ellen cook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By becky killinger on October 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Melba Pattillo Beals' journey through a time of prejudice shows a woman's courage. After trying, to integrate into an all white high school and being harassed by the K.K.K. Melba Beals is relocated by the NAACP. She starts her new life in California, a much different environment than the one she left behind in Arkansas. Melba hits a turning point in her life as she forgets about her studies and things to try to fit in. This non-fictional story drives your emotions as it talks of how cruel our world can be. It also showed how it only takes one person to make a difference. This truly inspirational piece will leave you screaming for justice.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa marky on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"We were concerned about much more than breathing- we were trying to save our lives- racing from room to room, slamming our windows shut and locking them as fast as we could." Melba Patillo Beals writes the story of her life, and what she had to go through everyday, as a result of her being one of the strong teenagers that integrated Central high in the year 1957. This book, the sequal to Warriors Dont Cry, makes you feel the pain, suffering, and hurt that Melba experienced living as a young african american in Little Rock Arkansa. The book was not all about the tough times she had, but also about the good times that her and her family shared, the things she accomlpished, and how she got to where she is know. In the book, Melba is living with her young brother Conrad, her grandma India, and her mother Loise, where she is trying to graduate high school, and then hopefully leave her small town of Arkansa. The book is very touching and I got emotional reading it, as i did when i read her first book. A quote that made me want to keep reading was in the beggining of the book, when she writes in her diary"Oh, god, please help me find my way. I don't want to disappoint anyone. Don't I deserve to have a senior year? Can't we have intergration but not have me participate? This is such a big problem, only you can figure it out. Thy will be done. Please give me courage." This passage showed her courage, and i wanted to keep on reading to see what she would do.Melba travels to San francisco were she meets with the Santa Rosa NAACP, and realizes that the hatred that she once thought all the whites had, was not true, and that she would begin a new life. She dealt with growing up with a white family, getting married, having children, and having her husband leave her.Read more ›
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you are at a crossroad in your life or you want to reach a deeper awareness about life then this book is for you. In its easy to read language, Melba Beals recounts her life story using sections from her diary that began as a youth and she continued until adulthood. This book is romantic, comical, inspirational, and riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed walking in Melba's "moccasins" as she recounts the extraordinary events that have shaped her into a terrific human being. I loved reading the book! Thanks Melba, you've done it again!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James L. Holm on September 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We have waited for a voice within the gay community to relate what AIDS has done and continues to do to our souls. Andiote bares that soul to the scrutiny of a verteran journalist and writer. He descibes the gay community's response to the AIDS epidemic. He outlines the growth the community made in the process. He isn't afraid to criticize where appropriate.
He tells the stories of the heroes of and the commentators on the epidemic. He delves, for example, into the internal machinations of a community trying to deal with safer sex and outlines both successes and failures. He indentifies the ongoing crisis and politics of promoting behavior change in the most intimate aspect of our lives. Through this type of no holds barred reporting that Andriote conveys the impact of AIDS on a community struggling to free itself from past and present disease related definitions.
Andriote's research is thorough, interviewing two hundred activitist and paritcipants. These individuals tell the story of a gay movement catapulted to the forefront of America's consciousness. He starts well before rhe empidemic and couches it in the context of a liberation stuggle. He tells the insider's story.
Victory Deferred will supplant Randy Shilt's And the Band Played On as the dinifitive story of one community heroically responding to the health crisis of the century.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In spite of all of the drama this young woman went through, she accomplished her dreams. I loved this book - especially what she said about life being like a puzzle and how we need to just take all of the pieces as they come and we will see the complete picture over time. Her life was full of heartbreak and struggle, but it appears to me that the seeds of wisdom planted by her grandmother caused her to pick herself up and brush off and get going no matter what. I could hear the love for her daughther and even for her husband. I loved her honesty about every aspect of her life including her naive perspective in her early college days. The psychologist in me couldn't help wonder why she was not as honest about her contribution to the strain in her marriage at the very end, but I do like the way she told her story overall. I would highly recommend this book after reading her first book, of course.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

NEW: In 2014, I published my first children's book, WILHELMINA GOES WANDERING--based on the true story of a runaway cow in Connecticut. For five months, the Black Angus hung out with a herd of deer, was mistaken for a bull, evaded capture, and was ultimately betrayed by her sweet tooth. Read my reimagined version of the story. Visit www.runawaycowbook.com.

IN THE WORKS: My literary agent is shopping the proposal for a new nonfiction book I plan to write about gay men's resilience and what everyone can learn from it.

BACKGROUND: I started my professional writing career doing book reviews for the national LGBT magazine The Advocate, while I was taking graduate-level writing and publishing classes at Emerson College in Boston. I decided to detour to Chicago instead, for a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University--and then a 22-year career in Washington, D.C., as a freelance journalist focused on health and medicine. I've reported on HIV/AIDS since 1986. My award-winning history of the AIDS epidemic in America, VICTORY DEFERRED, is my most substantial contribution to the literature on HIV/AIDS. In 2011, I released an updated and expanded second edition of VICTORY DEFERRED. All of the interviews and resource materials I used to develop the book are part of the "John-Manuel Andriote VICTORY DEFERRED Collection" curated by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.

I also write about cultural trends, LGBT issues, politics, and a wide variety of subjects that interest me. For example, in 2014, I have interviewed renowned microbiologist and HIV 'co-discoverer' Dr. Robert C. Gallo for the Los Angeles Review of Books; written a feature for Earth magazine about geologist Dr. Robert M. Thorson's efforts to preserve New England's historic stone walls; and authored a feature for Pacific Standard magazine about the area where I grew up and live today. That article, "The Other Connecticut, the Other America," trended to the #1 most popular spot in the magazine's Top 10 list.

REVIEWS/AWARDS: Kirkus Reviews called my book VICTORY DEFERRED: HOW AIDS CHANGED GAY LIFE IN AMERICA "The most important AIDS chronicle since Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On." The 1999 University of Chicago Press book won the 2000 Lambda Literary Awards "Editor's Choice" award, was a finalist for the New York Publishing Triangle's Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and was an American Library Association honored book.

Please visit www.jmandriote.com for more information.

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