Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Randy Shilts  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1951 in Davenport, Iowa

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Shilts was raised in Aurora.

Biographical and Professional Information

Randy Shilts was a pioneering gay American journalist and author. The author of several groundbreaking bestsellers, he worked as a freelance reporter for The Advocate and San Francisco Bay Area television stations. He also worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years. His book And the Band Played On, was instrumental in bringing the AIDS crisis to light.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk
ISBN: 0312560850

St. Martin's Griffin. 2008

The Mayor of Castro Street is Shilts's acclaimed story of Harvey Milk, the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America during the 1970s.

Known as "The Mayor of Castro Street" even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk's personal and political life is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

The Mayor of Castro Street is a story of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassination in City Hall and massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

Harvey Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award–winning 1984 documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk. His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, Milk, starring Sean Penn.

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition
ISBN: 0312374631

St. Martin's Griffin. 2007

Upon it's first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. An international bestseller, a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and made into a critically acclaimed movie, Shilts' expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80's while the most trusted institutions ignored or denied the threat. One of the few true modern classics, it changed and framed how AIDS was discussed in the following years. Now republished in a special 20th Anniversary edition, And the Band Played On remains one of the essential books of our time.

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military
ISBN: 0312342640

St. Martin's Griffin. 2005

The definitive book on lesbians and gay men in the US military.

Randy Shilts, author of the classic documentary history of the AIDS epidemic And The Band Played On, was acclaimed for his ability to take epic histories and molding them into gripping, intimate narratives. Conduct Unbecoming, his groundbreaking exploration of lesbians and gays in the military, came out of hundreds of interviews conducted with servicepeople at all levels of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and intense research uncovering thousands of documents resulting in a unique history of gays in the military as well as the persecution of gays in the military. Conduct Unbecoming will leave readers moved and imbued with a better understanding of the pressing situation in our nation's military.

"A sober, thoroughly researched and engrossingly readable history on the subject. [Shilts's] chronicle is excellent military history, closely woven with an enthralling analysis of the changing definitions of sexuality and personal relationships in American society....[A] landmark book....Remarkable."
--New York Times Book Review

"A masterpiece of investigative reporting…Shilts has shown us the honor homosexuals have brought, and continue to bring, to the uniforms they wear and the country they serve." - Boston Globe

"Gays, we are told, would damage morale in the military. Shilts documents the fact that morale has already been eaten away by hypocrisy, contradictions, and favoritism…This book will be to gay and lesbian liberation what Betty Friedan's was to early feminism or Rachel Carson's to ecological consciousness. No fair-minded person can read Conduct Unbecoming and consider the present system defensible. - USA Today

"Gripping reading....the history of homosexual people and the movement for gay/lesbian equality in the United States can nowhere be more clearly told." - Los Angeles Times


Awards

-- And the Band Played On

ALA Stonewall Award, 1988Conduct Unbecoming

Lambda Literary Award in Gay Men's Study, 1994