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When Bodies Remember: Experiences and Politics of AIDS in South Africa (California Series in Public Anthropology)

When Bodies Remember: Experiences and Politics of AIDS in South Africa (California Series in Public Anthropology)
Author: Didier Fassin
ISBN 13: 9780520250277
ISBN 10: 520250273
Edition: 1
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2007-03-14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 390
List Price: $32.95

"Didier Fassin makes a compelling case against behaviorist approaches that dominate AIDS research. Using a vivid mosaic of public controversies and ethnographic vignettes, Fassin works through the controversial denials of South African President Thabo Mbeki and the precautionary policies of his Health Ministers within histories of apartheid, epidemics which justified segregation, and secret biological warfare plans of Project Coast, as well as wider battles over the ethical protocols of AIDS testing and widening inequalities. Fassin writes with compassion and deep moral inquietude."—Michael M.J. Fischer, author of Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice

"When Bodies Remember is an extraordinary exercise in counterpoint between the disquieting politics and the subjective experience of AIDS in South Africa. Didier Fassin deftly leads his readers into the 'heart of darkness' that we may comprehend this monstrous tragedy, literally unspeakable for so many, as one that touches our shared humanity. He insists that recognition of inequality rather than difference, and of embodied history rather than culture, are the keys to overcoming indifference, inciting in its place moral outrage and action. This brilliant, sensitive ethnography should be read by everyone who cares about the kind of world we live in."—Margaret Lock, author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death

"A gracefully written and politically astute account of one of the world's greatest AIDS tragedies, the arrival of a full-blown AIDS epidemic in South Africa on the cusp of political victory and jubilation over the end of apartheid. The cultural and political logic of President Mbeki's refusal to accept the international public health model of the virus and his pursuit of an alternative explanation of the epidemic is given a fair and just hearing by France's leading critical medical anthropologist."—Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of Death without Weeping

"This is a remarkable book. As Fassin dissects the deadly powers of today, he also unrelentingly looks for human alternatives to turn the AIDS tragedy around. Multi-layered and deeply moving, When Bodies Remember sets new standards for anthropological theory in the 21st century. The book's interpretive care and hope will stay with you in times to come."—João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment