I was forty in 1982, married, raising a child and reading the first articles about this weird new plague as they appeared in Rolling Stone and other publiations. I remember the attempts to classify this as a strictly gay problem, the first name for it being GRID, Gay Related Immune Deficency. When Shilts book came out, I bought it and read it cover to cover over a weekend. The cultural climate, the refusal of the government to see AIDS as a threat to ALL of us, the infighting in the gay community, the politcal issues that in the end, cause thousands to die needlessly; all of this reads like a Greek tragedy. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is one of the best non fiction books I have ever read.