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The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power)
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The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Celebrity philanthropy comes in many guises, but no single figure better encapsulates its delusions, pretensions and wrongheadedness than U2’s iconic frontman, Bono—a fact neither sunglasses nor leather pants can hide. More than a mere philanthropist—indeed, he lags behind many of his peers when it comes to parting with his own money—Bono is better described as an advocate ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Verso (first published January 1st 2013)
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Stewart Home
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
There isn’t much about Bono or U2 that interests me, but I was curious about Browne’s book as a critique of celebrity culture. If Bono is viewed as a typical example of a rich scumbag, rather than someone of any real significance, I guess the U2 singer is as good a place to begin a critique of celebrity ‘activism’ as any other tedious pop ‘personality’. That said, The Clash and their dead posh frontman Joe Strummer would provide an equally good starting point. Unfortunately Browne seems to admir ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
lots of good stuff about how Paul Hewson morphed, scaled, slunk, and allied localish Irish concerns and conflicts into the bombastic celebrity presence his voice is today. Did you know his name "Bono" came from a hearing-aid shop, and his first two bands were Feedback and The Hype? Me neither. Loads of nice writing, and pleasantly dialed down under screed level, while still getting alignments and POV across.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Browne's entertaining hatchet job on perhaps the most annoying celebrity humanitarian of the past two decades leaves few stones unturned. The book reviews the most relevant investigative journalism published over the years on Bono's dealings in business, investment, activism, lobbying and philanthropy, as well as a few academic papers on celebrity humanitarianism, to put together a comprehensive critique of the hypocricies and cynicism of the global elite's pet rock star. Particularly the first ...more
Steven Pilling
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it

oh i really enjoyed this. I admit to finding Bono irritating beyond belief and despite having owned a number of U2 records in the past, i find the idea of Bono makes me retch.

Browne just enjoys the pursuit and trying Bono for his sins. What makes this better than just pure polemic is Browne gives some credit to Bono doesnt throw everything however weak at him and builds his arguements well.

If you like Bono this may just annoy you , but if you have an open mind you may find it being changed.
Joe Mason
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Something about Bono's overyly earnest, yet utterly bland, alwasy annoyed me. Fortunatley, Browne has the political savvy to expound on it for me.

Turns out Bono is a neoliberal, Wester-centric unabashed capitalist. His earnestness is far more patronizing that I first suspected.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book basically uses the career of Bono and U2 to complain about the world through a fairly grating, naively socialist lens. It could have used the price of toilet paper as an excuse to complain about the world, except that wouldn't have landed it on my Amazon wish list or convinced my sister to buy it for me for my birthday. So it uses the savvy capitalist move of the bait-and-switch to make you think it's about Bono when it's actually not.

If you've read many leftist screeds, you'll quickly
Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not a good book and just to make clear, I have hardly listened to U2 at all, so Iam no fan.

Reading the introduction I was thinking for myself, 'what is this?', the introduction is filled with nonsense, there is no substance, there is childish ad hominem and far fetched accusations against Bono. One wonder if Harry Browne (author) is jealous of the success of Bono or why he wrote the book at all.

Having got through the introduction I thought 'ok now starts the fun', however just like the introduct
Jul 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Just pure ad hominem. Quoting comic books who call Bono a "twat" as evidence is really not the signs of a proper argument. Especially when he admits "there is no doubt that some of his campaigning and the work of the organizations he supports have improved the lives, health and well-being of many people in Africa."

There is an argument about humanitarianism being a palliative cover for the real destruction of business interests, but going after Bono like this, even if he is an ego-driven celebri
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
tough on Bono, tough on the causes of Bono
David Porter
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quite brilliant. Browne peels back the curtain (anyone paying attention saw it was tattered and frayed) and shows us how Bono has compromised himself and the causes he supports. More missteps than malevolence, Bono has made himself a rather under-informed buffoon and servant of some of the more evil politicians and corporations of our era. Browne digs pretty deep, far deeper than Bono ever has, to ferret out the hypocrisy and self-delusion within which Bono has swaddled himself for decades. What ...more
Valiant Thor
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
"The Frontman" throws a well-deserved spotlight on the fraud known as Bono. The book is interesting, well-researched, and the writing is decent. The problems with the book isn't that it goes too far, but that it doesn't go far enough. It ignores Bono's rather obvious intelligence ties, and incredibly takes his 1986 trip to El Salvadore and Nicaragua (at the height of the US/Contra cocaine ops) at face value.

While this book goes some way toward deflating Bono, it's more like a limited hangout tha
Al Deg
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Molto interessante l'argomento, per nulla offensivo nei confronti di Bono come persona (come lamentano in alcune recensioni online certi fanboy agguerriti) quanto più critico nei confronti di Bono come figura. Traduzione scarsa, che forse è responsabile di alcuni passaggi poco chiari e difficili da seguire
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was ok

Band Aid's charity single Do They Know It's Christmas?
- or -
The last time we let the entire world know it was Christmas time we called it The Crusades

We celebrate our commercialized corporate-controlled shell of holiday while Africans die.

Do Africans know it's Christmas time? Of course Christian Africans know. But Muslims and those who practice traditional African spiritual faiths could care less.

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time is an egregious lyric as it neve
Juan Jaramillo
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's very deceiveing to find that a person you admire because it show so good intentions, and it's only a puppet to convince the mass that everything it's going to be allright. Bono assumes well it's role of puppet of the big corporations, in order to clear our consciences that we're going to do good helping the hunger Africa by using our 'Vertigo' AMEX, i feel so stupid.
Get the feeling, strongly supported that Bono is simply a useful idiot who handle large corporations that through mass manipul
Jul 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Didn't like it. It was all Bono bashing and too political for me and it read like a textbook
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This completely confirms for me what a corporate tool an blowhard. bono is. A must read for sure u2 fan or not.
Simon Sweetman
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some good stuff here - but at times it struggles, possibly under the weight of its own anger
(That's not necessarily a bad thing of course)
Shaun Richman
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rock-n-roll
A quick, enjoyable hate-read.
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