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"Let the Record Show" with Sarah Schulman

Join us at Center on Halsted as we welcome author Sarah Schulman to discuss Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 at 7:30pm!

This is not reverent, definitive history. This is a tactician's bible. --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

Twenty years in the making, Sarah Schulman's Let the Record Show is the most comprehensive political history ever assembled of ACT UP and American AIDS activism

In just six years, ACT UP, New York, a broad and unlikely coalition of activists from all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds, changed the world. Armed with rancor, desperation, intelligence, and creativity, it took on the AIDS crisis with an indefatigable, ingenious, and multifaceted attack on the corporations, institutions, governments, and individuals who stood in the way of AIDS treatment for all. They stormed the FDA and NIH in Washington, DC, and started needle exchange programs in New York; they took over Grand Central Terminal and fought to change the legal definition of AIDS to include women; they transformed the American insurance industry, weaponized art and advertising to push their agenda, and battled--and beat-- The New York Times, the Catholic Church, and the pharmaceutical industry. Their activism, in its complex and intersectional power, transformed the lives of people with AIDS and the bigoted society that had abandoned them.

Based on more than two hundred interviews with ACT UP members and rich with lessons for today's activists, Let the Record Show is a revelatory exploration--and long-overdue reassessment--of the coalition's inner workings, conflicts, achievements, and ultimate fracture. Schulman, one of the most revered queer writers and thinkers of her generation, explores the how and the why, examining, with her characteristic rigor and bite, how a group of desperate outcasts changed America forever, and in the process created a livable future for generations of people across the world.

Finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbriath Award for Nonfiction, the Gotham Book Prize, the ALA Stonewall Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award, and the Lambda Literary LGBTQ Nonfiction Award . A 2021 New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice . Longlisted for the 2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize.  One of NPR, New York, and The Guardian's Best Books of 2021, one of Buzzfeed's Best LGBTQ+ Books of 2021, one of Electric Literature's Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2021, one of NBC's 10 Most Notable LGBTQ Books of 2021, and one of Gay Times' Best LGBTQ Books of 2021.

Sarah Schulman is the author of more than twenty works of fiction (including The Cosmopolitans, Rat Bohemia, and Maggie Terry), nonfiction (including StagestruckConflict is Not Abuse, and The Gentrification of the Mind), and theater (Carson McCullersManic Flight Reaction, and more), and the producer and screenwriter of several feature films (The OwlsMommy Is Coming, and United in Anger, among others). Her writing has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York TimesSlate, and many other outlets. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at College of Staten Island, a Fellow at the New York Institute of Humanities, the recipient of multiple fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and was presented in 2018 with Publishing Triangle's Bill Whitehead Award. She is also the cofounder of the MIX New York LGBT Experimental Film and Video Festival, and the co-director of the groundbreaking 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.
Photo Credit: Drew Stevens

Tracy Baim is the Co-Publisher and President of the Chicago Reader, she is past publisher and managing editor of Chicago’s oldest and only LGBTQ newspaper, Windy City Times—which she cofounded in 1985. She is majority owner and board president. WCT also produces OUT! LGBTQ Travel Guide and online content thru, youtube and social media. Baim received the 2013 Chicago Headline Club Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, she was inducted into the National LGBT Journalists Association Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was inducted alongside her late mother Joy Darrow into the Association of Women Journalists-Chicago inaugural women’s journalism hall of fame. She has won numerous gay community and journalism honors, including the Community Media Workshop’s Studs Terkel Award in 2005 and several Peter Lisagor journalism awards. Baim’s most recent book is Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer. Her other books include Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America; Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage; and Out and Proud in Chicago. Baim was executive producer of the lesbian film Hannah Free, starring Sharon Gless, and Scrooge & Marley. She is creator of That's So Gay!, an LGBT trivia game. Baim is the founder of the Pride Action Tank. She was also co-vice chair of Gay Games VII in Chicago, and in 2013 was founder of the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality.

Join us at Center on Halsted for this event! Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60613) is the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people of Chicagoland.


Hardcover editions of Let the Record Show are available now, and Paperback editions will be officially available May 17th, 2022 - get yours early at this event!

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250849120
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: Picador - May 17th, 2022

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374185138
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 18th, 2021

Event date: 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 7:30pm

Event address: 

Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60613
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