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Reconsidering Randy Shilts: America’s AIDS Chronicler

  • GLBT Historical Society Museum 4127 18th Street San Francisco, CA, 94114 United States (map)


GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114


$5.00 | Free for members

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As the author of the landmark 1987 book And the Band Played On, San Francisco journalist Randy Shilts (1951–1994) became the most recognized chronicler of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Professor Andrew E. Stoner, an associate professor of communication studies at California State University, Sacramento, will discuss his new book, The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts (University of Illinois Press, 2019).

This biography traces the remarkable life of the brash, pioneering journalist, whose relentless work ethic and belief in the power of journalism illuminated the contours of the AIDS crisis but whose assertions about the epidemic made him a controversial figure in the LGBTQ community. It also considers other aspects of Shilts’s experience, including his struggles with alcohol and substance use, as well as his personal battle with AIDS.


Andrew E. Stoner is an associate professor of communication studies at California State University, Sacramento. A former newspaper reporter, he earned his Ph.D. in public communication and technology from Colorado State University. His books include Campaign Crossroads: Presidential Politics in Indiana from Lincoln to Obama and Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice.

Image caption: Cover illustration of The Journalist of Castro Street; courtesy of University of Illinois Press.