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Best of 2020: Larry Kramer Wouldn’t Be Quiet

How Kramer’s uncompromising activism provided a lesson for 2020.

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Episode Notes

Larry Kramer always made sure you heard him, loud and clear. He was a playwright and a novelist, but he was perhaps best known for his work as an AIDS activist. In the 1980s and 1990s, Kramer sought to alert the world to a plague that was killing millions of people. He woke up the world – through provocative demonstrations, fiery essays, and righteous anger. Kramer died in May.

Guest: Mark Harris, a journalist and writer at New York Magazine.

For a closer look at the history of ACT UP, check out United in Anger: A History of ACT UP.

We’re re-running some of our favorite episodes from the past year. This episode originally aired in June, 2020.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Danielle Hewitt, with help from Frannie Kelley.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.