February 2020 Non-Fiction Lead Titles

Fighting For Our Lives: The history of a community response to AIDS Nick Cook


Paperback | Feb 2020 | NewSouth | 9781742236766 | 400pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99

‘An incredible testimony to the darkest hours of Australia’s queer history – and the organisation that helped change everything. A story of devastation, resistance and, ultimately, survival, every Australian should know.’ — Benjamin Law 

Fighting For Our Lives is the inspirational story of communities directly affected by the AIDS crisis. Against a harrowing backdrop of illness and death, fear and anger, hate and discrimination, they bravely took action.

During the darkest years of the epidemic, marginalised communities – mostly gay men, sex workers and people who inject drugs – came together to form organisations that gave them a voice in the corridors of power. They built an unprecedented alliance with politicians and medical experts, a three-way partnership that made Australia’s response to AIDS one of the most successful in the world.

Fighting For Our Lives captures the high-stakes drama of this extraordinary period and the stories of the people at the very centre of a life-or-death struggle. It is a gripping read, an important story, and one that must never be forgotten.

Fighting For Our Lives is an impressive history on the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Australia, and how affected communities came together and forged a remarkable alliance. Nick Cook’s exhaustive and meticulous research highlights the extraordinary resilience of these communities and how they literally rose up and fought for their lives.’ — Peter FitzSimons

‘This book is proof positive that light, hope and courage can grow out of the darkest corners of human experience. ACON emerged in 1980s to give leadership in the Australian struggle against HIV/AIDS. Soon that challenge expanded to a myriad of new controversies: gay rights, drug use, sex work, trans and prisoner experience. Nick Cook chronicles the terrifying early years of the HIV epidemic, identifying heroes and villains. And the story continues to this day to call forth our “better angels”.’ — The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, Past Justice of the High Court of Australia and Patron of the Kirby Institute