Contributed by Brian Johnston, Ph.D, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Media, Journalism & Film, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
As co-author of U2: A Love Story, I invite you to visit our website for the book. My favorite pages on the site are “The Mix Tape” and the “Classroom.” The “Themes” page explains how we understand “Myth,” “Love,” and “Liminality.”
I also want to invite you to name your own price for the book if its cost is too high for you right now. I have copies to sell and and if you email me, I’d be happy to accept what you can afford. My contact page is here.
Our study of U2 is unique. It’s from the perspective of love, specifically agape, amor, and eros. Susan Mackey-Kallis and I are both fans of the band, and rather than hiding this we embrace it and work that into our study of U2’s ongoing popularity. We also see a profoundly mythic journey in U2’s career, co-constructed by the band and its fans, that makes sense in hindsight but was not really visible from the start — which is precisely how mythic journeys play out.
One final point about the book that helped me understand my own fandom more clearly, as well as my personal journey and struggle with spirituality and faith, is how love is made into a force unto itself bigger than the band, more encompassing than a mere personal experience. And the central message, over time, seems to be Tat tvam asi — the Hindu expression in Sanskrit meaning “thou art that” — which we U2 fans have long understood as “One, but not the same” or “No them, there’s only us.”
We understand that the Spirit throes itself out to us through whatever medium it chooses, no matter where we are, who we are, or what we think we are about. But then it takes real work, real community, and at times painful lessons (culturally) or transformations (personally) to realize its full potential. Our study of U2, its fans and the mythic journey they’ve been on as such is one we hope you’ll enjoy.
If you’re interested in our book, want to talk more or need some help buying a copy, please don’t hesitate to contact me.