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The American People: Volume 2

The Brutality of Fact: A Novel

Larry Kramer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The American People: Volume 2 Download image

ISBN10: 0374104131
ISBN13: 9780374104139


896 Pages



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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.


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


Read an Excerpt


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

* * *

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

About the author

Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer (1935-2020) was an award-winning playwright and author, and a celebrated public health and gay rights advocate. He wrote the critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart (and subsequent Emmy Award-winning HBO television adaptation), the Academy Award–nominated screenplay adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, the bestselling novel Faggots, and the satirical two-volume novel The American People (Search for My Heart and The Brutality of Fact).

A pioneering AIDS activist, he cofounded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982 and founded ACT UP in 1987. Kramer won numerous awards for his plays and received the 2013 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist.

Larry Kramer

Official Links

Read Author Biography at Britannica