Benita Roth explores the rise of the ACT UP/LA during the ’80s and ’90s in new book

By : Scottie Campbell
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Benita Roth is a professor of sociology, history and women’s studies at Binghamton University so it is unsurprising that The Life and Death of ACT UP/LA is academic and will primarily have a life as assigned reading in college courses. Dense and meticulously annotated, it makes for a cumbersome, though essential, read.

ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) was born in New York City in 1987 when Larry Kramer, disillusioned with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis he co-founded, challenged an audience to create a more effective organization. ACT UP/LA was formed in December of the same year and, unlike ACT UP/NY which is still in existence (albeit decidedly more quiet these days), lasted a decade until its remaining three members voted it out of existence.

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