Shattered Mirrors is a deeply moving meditation on the impact AIDS is having on American consciousness. AIDS has become a moral lesson for our nation, Monroe Price argues, but not the narrow lesson about the dangers of deviancy that certain segments of society have professed. The AIDS epidemic challenges some of our most cherished ideas about individual autonomy, free expression, fairness, and confidence in the future.
As this book points out, the ultimate legacy of the AIDS epidemic is far more than its terrible impact on the health of the citizenry. As the disease grinds on, several traditional barriers between church and state, government and the media, citizen and consumer have begun to erode, while other barriers of class, race, and lifestyle are growing larger. It is too early to say whether these and similar changes will be permanent, but as long as there is uncertainty about how devastating AIDS will prove to be to our society, we will continue to debate its meaning and how we should respond to the threat it poses to all of us. In the long run, Price maintains, AIDS may force us to reexamine the role government should play in shaping our personal lives. More than this, it may well oblige us to redefine what we mean by identity and community in a democracy under siege.