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Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993
Roosevelt House is pleased to present a live Zoom discussion of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman. In this acclaimed and monumental political history, Schulman delivers the most comprehensive account ever produced on the organization ACT UP and American AIDS activism. The author will be in conversation with author and former Roosevelt House curator of programming Bill Goldstein. This program is a co-presentation with the Roosevelt House LGBTQ Center.
Twenty years in the making, and based on more than 200 interviews with ACT UP members, Let the Record Show is a long-overdue exploration and reassessment of the coalition’s inner workings, conflicts, achievements, and ultimate fracture. From one of the most revered queer writers and thinkers of her generation, Let the Record Show combines deep historical research and documentation with rigorous analysis to reveal how a group of tireless and determined activists from all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds—armed with anger, intelligence, and creativity—transformed the lives of people with AIDS and the society that had failed them. Fighting back against corporations, institutions, governments, and individuals who stood in the way of AIDS treatment for all, they changed the country, and in so doing created a more livable future for generations of people across the world.
As Parul Sehgal wrote in the New York Times: “Let the Record Show doesn’t seek to memorialize history but to ransack it, to seize what we might need… This is not reverent, definitive history. This is a tactician’s bible.”
Sarah Schulman is the author of more than 30 works of fiction, non-fiction, and drama including The Cosmopolitans, Stagestruck, The Gentrification of the Mind, and Manic Flight Reaction. She is also the producer and screenwriter of several feature films—among them are The Owls and United in Anger. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Slate. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the College of Staten Island, a Fellow at the New York Institute of Humanities, the recipient of multiple fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and winner of the 2018 Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award. She is also the co-founder of the MIX New York LGBT Experimental Film and Video Festival and the co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project. A lifelong New Yorker, she is a longtime activist for queer rights and female empowerment, and serves on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Bill Goldstein reviews books and interviews authors for NBC’s Weekend Today in New York. He was the founding editor of theNew York Times books website and was programming curator at Roosevelt House from 2010-2019. He is writing the authorized biography of Larry Kramer, to be published by Crown, and worked on the book as a 2019-2020 fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. He is the author of The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year that Changed Literature.