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Special Report: The FBI sting that tore apart a small town

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'The Normal Heart' still a powerful call to action
'The Normal Heart' still a powerful call to action

As the great Cynthia Ozick once observed, "In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better." In the early 1980s several things were obvious to writer Larry Kramer. Gay men were literally dropping dead and neither the government nor the medical establishment seemed to be doing much to stop it. Moreover, no one, outside of other — increasingly terrified — gay men, seemed to care. So Kramer wrote "The Normal Heart," a blunt instrument of a play debuting in 1985 in which his thinly disguised avatar, a New York writer called Ned Weeks, watches friends die, helps form the Gay Men's Health Crisis center and does a lot of yelling....

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