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U2 Essays, Exploring U2


Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll?: Essays on the Music, Work, and Influence of U2 Scarecrow Press
$49.95

Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll?
features new writing in the growing field of U2 studies. Edited by
Scott Calhoun, with a foreword by Anthony DeCurtis, Exploring U2
contains selections from the 2009 inaugural gathering of “The Hype and
The Feedback: A Conference Exploring The Music, Work and Influence of
U2.” In keeping with U2’s own efforts to remove barriers that have long
prevented dialogue for understanding and improving the human experience,
this collection of essays examines U2 from perspectives ranging from
the personal to the academic and is accessible to curious music fans,
students, teachers, and scholars alike.

Four
sections organize 16 essays from leading academics, music critics,
clergy, and fans. From the academic disciplines of literature, music,
philosophy, and theology, essays study U2’s evolving use of source
material in live performances, the layering of vocal effects in
signature songs, the crafting of a spiritual community at live concerts,
U2’s success as a business brand, Bono’s rhetorical presentation of
Africa to the Western consumer, and readings of U2’s work for irony,
personhood, hope, conservatism, and cosmic-time. Official band
biographer Neil McCormick considers U2 as a Dublin-shaped band, and
Danielle Rhéaume tells how discovering and returning Bono’s lost
briefcase of lyrics for the album October propelled her along her own
artistic journey.

This
thoughtful and timely collection recognizes U2’s music both as art and
commentary on personal journeys and cultural dialogues about
contemporary issues. It offers insights and critical assessments that
will appeal not only to scholars and students of popular music and
culture studies but to those in the fields of theology, philosophy, the
performing arts, literature, and all intellectually curious fans of U2.