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The American People: Volume 2

The American People: Volume 2

The Brutality of Fact: A Novel

The American People Series (Volume 2)

Larry Kramer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


In The American People: Volume 2: The Brutality of Fact, Larry Kramer completes his radical reimagining of his country’s history. Ranging from the brothels of 1950s Washington, D.C., to the activism of the 1980s and beyond, Kramer offers an elaborate phantasmagoria of bigoted conspiracists in the halls of power and ordinary individuals suffering their consequences. With wit and bite, Kramer explores (among other things) the sex lives of every recent president; the complicated behavior of America’s two greatest spies, J. Edgar Hoover and James Jesus Angleton; the rise of Sexopolis, the country’s favorite magazine; and the genocidal activities of every branch of our health-care and drug-delivery systems.

The American People: Volume 2 is narrated by (among others) the writer Fred Lemish and his two friends—Dr. Daniel Jerusalem, who works for America’s preeminent health-care institution, and his twin brother, David Jerusalem, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp who was abused by many powerful men. Together they track a terrible plague that intensifies as the government ignores it and depict the bold and imaginative activists who set out to shock the nation’s conscience. In Kramer’s telling, the United States is dedicated to the proposition that very few men are created equal, and those who love other men may be destined for death. Here is a historical novel like no other—satiric and impassioned and driven by an uncompromising moral and literary vision.


Your Roving Historian welcomes you back. Let us continue to follow our bouncing ball.

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This is your virus speaking. I, too, am glad you’ve come back to learn more about my taking over the world....

Praise for The American People: Volume 2

"A river of blood courses through Kramer's epic. That blood is bought and sold and swapped and spilled. If both volumes of The American People were the only books left behind by our species, an alien people who discovered them would, at the very least, really know that we had been here . . . beautiful and humane . . . It’s the journal of a plague century. I can’t say I liked it. Yet, on a certain level, I loved it." Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review


Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer is a screenwriter (Women in Love, Oscar nomination); a playwright (The Normal Heart, Tony Award); a bestselling novelist (Faggots); and an activist for gay rights and AIDS awareness (cofounder of Gay Men's Health Crisis and founder of ACT UP). He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, PEN, and Common Cause, and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Yale University.

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Larry Kramer

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Meet the Author

February 26, 2020

Meet Larry Kramer, renowned playwright, author, and founder of ACT UP, as he introduces The American People, Volume 2: The Brutality of Fact, the second half of his epic re-telling of American history, revised and re-invented to focus on little-known facts, possibilities, and conjectures.


Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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