WHEN WE RISE by Cleve Jones


Coming of Age in San Francisco, AIDS, and My Life in the Movement
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A key member of the San Francisco gay movement traces his life story.

Like many homosexuals born in the 1950s, Jones “grew up not knowing if there was anyone else on the planet who felt the way we felt.” Then he moved from Phoenix to San Francisco and discovered the blossoming world of like-minded individuals who relished their new sexual freedom and transformed neighborhoods into havens for the gay community. In this honest, occasionally explicit narrative, Jones discusses his own gayness and the partying, dancing, drugs, and sex with multiple partners that he and so many others engaged in during the 1970s and ’80s. He traveled through Europe, enjoying the scenery and beautiful men he found along the way, but he always wound up returning to San Francisco. Eager to help the “movement,” Jones worked in Harvey Milk’s office and was present the day he was murdered, an event that led the author to more political and social activism. When the AIDS epidemic struck, killing thousands, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and was the inspiration and push behind the AIDS Memorial Quilt project. Jones provides readers with a precise, uninhibited, inside look into the gay movement from its inception to its present-day status. He includes multiple references to world events as they happened through the past few decades, which help ground readers and link the actions in the gay world to those of society at large. Numerous lovers, political activists, and friends are included in this raw and expressive memoir, which features its most touching moments as Jones describes the anguish and sorrow he and so many others experienced as the AIDS crisis clobbered the gay community.

The frank and sometimes-graphic timeline of one gay man’s life, his involvement in promoting gay rights, and the AIDS epidemic.

Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-31-631543-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Hachette
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2016


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