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If you’re looking for a compelling audiobook that delves deep into the political history surrounding ACT UP New York, then you’re in luck. Sarah Schulman’s Political History of ACT UP New York, Let the Record Show, is an insightful account that chronicles the impactful work and collective action of this influential activist group during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. In this section, we will provide an overview of the book and its significance to those interested in LGBTQ activism and healthcare access. Furthermore, we will take a closer look at the audiobook review, Sarah Schulman’s background, as well as the history of ACT UP New York.

About the Author: Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman is a renowned American author with a multifaceted career in writing, activism, and academia. She has carved a niche for herself as an activist, chronicling the lives of LGBTQ people and communities in her works. Schulman is a respected figure in the literary world, with notable acclaim for her intimate portrayals of queer lives, particularly those on the margins.

She was born in New York City in 1958 and attended the City University of New York, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree. Schulman later pursued her Master’s degree in Cinema Studies at New York University.

With a career spanning over four decades, Schulman has authored more than twenty books. Some of her renowned works include Rat Bohemia, The Gentrification of the Mind, and Conflict Is Not Abuse. Her writing style is characterized by an unwavering activism for social justice, coupled with a gift for compelling storytelling.

“Schulman is a force to be reckoned with in the world of queer letters, as beloved for her fiction as for her activism.” – Oprah Magazine

Additionally, Schulman has been an activist for over four decades and was a part of ACT UP, a group fighting for the rights of people with AIDS. She also co-founded the Lesbian Avengers, a direct action group advocating for lesbian visibility, and MIX NYC, an organization for queer experimental film. Schulman has been an influential figure in LGBTQ activism and continues to inspire change with her words and actions.

The History of ACT UP New York

ACT UP New York was founded in 1987 in response to the growing AIDS crisis, which was affecting a disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities of color. The group was formed with the goal of pressuring the government, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare institutions to address the epidemic and provide access to life-saving treatments.

The organization’s tactics were rooted in direct action and civil disobedience, including protests, sit-ins, and die-ins. These actions aimed to disrupt the status quo and draw attention to the urgent need for change.

ACT UP New York was highly influential in shaping public policy and medical research related to HIV/AIDS, such as advocating for faster drug approval processes and greater funding for research. In addition, the organization played a crucial role in destigmatizing the disease and empowering individuals living with HIV/AIDS to take charge of their treatment and care.

Image Alt Text: ACT UP New York, a group of protestors holding a banner that reads “Silence=Death”

Let the Record Show: Overview

Let the Record Show, written by Sarah Schulman, is an audiobook that provides a detailed account of the political history of ACT UP New York. This book documents the renowned AIDS activist group’s efforts from its inception in 1987 to many of its endeavors in the years that followed. Schulman’s audiobook is well-structured and packed with information, making it an informative and engaging read for those interested in LGBTQ activism, public health, and US political history.

The book is divided into several sections, each with a specific topic and main theme. Schulman’s writing skillfully balances historical detail with powerful storytelling and a passion for activism that makes the material vivid and relevant to a younger generation’s audience. The audiobook’s in-depth documentation provides a clear window into the struggles, goals, and strategies of ACT UP New York.

“Sarah Schulman’s audiobook is a worthwhile investigation of the political effort of ACT UP New York, and it is bound to provide a greater appreciation and knowledge of this seminal moment in American LGBTQ activism.”

Sarah Schulman’s Writing Style

Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman showcases the author’s unique writing style, known for its engaging storytelling and meticulous use of research. Schulman employs a straightforward approach in presenting the narrative of ACT UP New York’s political history, using primary documents and testimonials for a comprehensive exploration of the topic.

Her writing style is accessible to a wide audience, with a clear and concise tone that avoids dense academic jargon. Schulman’s attention to detail highlights the complexity of the issues at hand while maintaining a humanistic approach. She includes personal anecdotes to complement the larger historical context, adding a layer of emotion and relatability to the text.

The audiobook narration of Let the Record Show preserves Schulman’s writing style, making the listening experience both informative and enjoyable. The author’s talent for weaving a compelling narrative shines through, giving listeners a detailed account of ACT UP New York’s activism during the AIDS crisis.

“Schulman’s writing style is engaging and accessible, with a humanistic approach that brings her research to life.”

Key Themes Explored

key themes Let the Record Show

Let the Record Show explores a variety of key themes and topics, providing a multifaceted look at the history of ACT UP New York and the AIDS crisis. One important theme is activism, as the book documents the various strategies used by ACT UP to raise awareness and push for change. LGBTQ rights are also a central focus, highlighting the ways in which discrimination and stigma affected the response to the epidemic. Additionally, Let the Record Show delves into issues surrounding healthcare access, showcasing the barriers faced by those living with HIV/AIDS and the efforts made to improve treatment and care.

Another major theme is the power of collective action, as the book emphasizes the importance of community organizing and solidarity in the fight against AIDS. Through interviews and personal accounts, Let the Record Show paints a vivid picture of the individuals involved in ACT UP and the impact they had on public policy and society as a whole. Overall, the book provides an important perspective on a key moment in LGBTQ history and the ongoing struggle for justice and equality.

Audiobook Narration

The audiobook narration of Let the Record Show is an engaging and informative listening experience for the audience. The performance by the narrator is clear and well-paced, allowing the listener to fully absorb the content.

The tone of the narration is appropriate for the subject matter, balancing the serious nature of the history with moments of humor and humanity. The narrator’s emotions are well-controlled, delivering a professional and consistent performance throughout the entire audiobook.

The clarity of the audio is excellent, with no background noise or distracting elements. The overall listening experience is enjoyable, and the audiobook narration does justice to Sarah Schulman’s work in documenting the political history of ACT UP New York.

Impacts and Relevance Today

ACT UP New York’s activism during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 90s had a significant impact on healthcare access and LGBTQ rights. Their advocacy and collective action paved the way for important advancements in HIV/AIDS treatment and public policy.

Today, ACT UP’s legacy continues to inspire and inform the work of activists and organizers fighting for social justice and healthcare equity. The lessons learned from their activism, including the power of grassroots organizing and the importance of centering the needs and voices of marginalized communities, remain relevant and vital.

Let the Record Show provides a valuable documentation of ACT UP New York’s political history and serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. By understanding the impact of ACT UP’s work, we can continue to push for progress and positive change in our society.

Critical Reception

Let the Record Show received critical acclaim from readers, critics, and experts in the field. Reviewers have praised the book’s comprehensive documentation of ACT UP New York’s political history, as well as Sarah Schulman’s meticulous research and engaging writing style.

“Schulman has written a breathtakingly comprehensive history of ACT UP, a group that changed the course of both the AIDS epidemic and the LGBTQ rights movement in America. It offers us a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration at a critical moment in our culture’s evolution.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Readers have also lauded Let the Record Show for its powerful message and relevance to current social justice issues. Some have noted that the audiobook format can be a bit overwhelming due to its length and detail, but ultimately found it to be a worthwhile and inspiring listen.

Overall, Let the Record Show has been recognized as an essential work on LGBTQ activism and the fight for social justice, with many critics and readers recommending it as a must-read for anyone interested in these topics.

Recommended Audience and Final Thoughts

Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman is an engaging and informative audiobook that is perfect for individuals with an interest in LGBTQ history, political activism, and social justice movements. This audiobook is recommended for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of ACT UP New York’s political history during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Listeners who enjoy audiobooks that are well researched and detailed will appreciate Sarah Schulman’s writing style and approach in Let the Record Show. The audiobook narration is clear and engaging, making for an enjoyable listening experience.

Overall, Let the Record Show is a valuable and relevant resource that provides insight into the power of collective action and the importance of fighting for social justice. This audiobook is highly recommended for anyone interested in LGBTQ history or political activism, and for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of ACT UP New York’s work.


In conclusion, Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman is an essential audiobook for anyone interested in LGBTQ activism, healthcare access, and the power of collective action. The book provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the political history of ACT UP New York, highlighting the organization’s goals, strategies, and impact on public policy during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Schulman’s writing style is engaging and informative, making the audiobook an enjoyable and educational listening experience.

Overall, Let the Record Show offers valuable insights and lessons that remain relevant in today’s society. ACT UP New York’s activism continues to impact our understanding of healthcare access and the power of grassroots movements to effect change. We highly recommend Let the Record Show to anyone interested in LGBTQ history, activism, or social justice issues.

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