Lessons from the Damned Queers, Whores and Junkies Respond to AIDS
First published in 1998. Nancy Stoller records how the poor, people of color, gay men and lesbians, drug users, and women have built social movements to fight the impact of AIDS, revealing that organizational structure and culture have a greater impact on who is served and how than do public health theories or official organizational goals. She draws on ethnographic research and the words of the activists themselves, as well as the literature of social movements and theories of bureaucracy. In addition to the stories of the organizational strategies, the book offers guidelines for dealing with diversity and conflict with both theoretical and practical perspectives on cross-community and international organizing.
"[The book] illustrate[s] convincingly, sometimes brilliantly, how rarely-heard voices of the AIDS experience hold extraordinary lessons and leadership that can aid our continued struggle in the complicated and evolving milieu of the AIDS epidemic." -- Lambda Book Report
"This book records a special aspect of the history of the AIDS epidemic:the way that poor people, people of color, gay and lesbians, drug users, and woemn have built a social movement to oppose AIDS' devastating impact." It speaks specifically how racism, sexism, and class have limited and energized the work of community organizations. Her findings are not meant to criticize the organizations, but rather to be open-minded in how they operated, worked with their members, and completed for funds ever dwindling government allocations AIDS BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL."
"Stoller is fair and even-handed...Her analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a range of different political and organizational models is particularly useful..." -- Bonnie B. Spanier, SUNY Albany Signs
"Nancy Stoller ponders the implications raised by the formation of hundreds of marginal organizations hatched by the onslaught on AIDS. She has taken the diverse and often damned outcasts and shown how they have affected not only the epidemic, but gay culture itself." -- Genre
"Lessons from the Damned is a must-read for every employee, volunteer, and client of every AIDS organization in the country. It is a powerful, frightening wake-up call to AIDS service providers, warning that an increase in bureaucracy and `official' financial assistance can easily lead to a decrease in community effectiveness." -- A & U magazine