The bibliography below is updated as new material becomes available and is selected for inclusion for studying the music, work and influence of U2 and aspects of U2 fandom. The resources are books, essays, academic journal articles and general audience media articles. This bibliography does not list U2’s discography or filmography, which can be found on U2’s official site.
If you wish to recommend a resource for studying U2 or if you would like to speak with someone about your research project, please contact Director Scott Calhoun through the contact form.
Two books of collected essays, edited by Scott Calhoun, have come from previous U2 Conference gatherings:
- Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n Roll? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011, 2014)
- U2 Above, Across, and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Assessments. Co-edited with Christopher Endrinal. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, 2015)
A stand-alone collection of new essays in U2 and the Religious Impulse: Take Me Higher, edited by Scott Calhoun, was commissioned and published by Bloomsbury Press in 2018.
U2 STUDIES BIBLIOGRAPHY
Selected books, essays, and articles for studying U2
Maintained by Scott Calhoun
Updated: April 3, 2020
Alan, Carter. Outside is America: U2 in the U.S. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1992.
Alan, Carter. U2: The Road to Pop. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1997 (1992).
Andrews, Gavin J., Robin A. Kearns, Paul Kingsbury, Edward R. Carr. “Cool Aid? Health, Wellbeing and Place in the Work of Bono and U2.” Health & Place 17.1 (2011): 185-194. Available here.
Austin, Michael W. “We Get to Carry Each Other: U2 and Kierkegaard on Authentic Love.” Philosophy Now 64 (November/December 2007): 14-17. Available here.
Assayas, Michka. Bono: In Conversation. London: Riverhead, 2005.
Beard, Steve. “The Gospel of Heaven and Hell.” Spiritual Journey: How Faith Has Influenced Twelve Music Icons. Lake Mary, FL: Relevant Books, 2003. 237-238, 264.
Beeaff, Dianne Ebertt. A Grand Madness: Ten Years on the Road With U2. Tucson, AZ: Hawkmoon Publishing, 2000.
Beeaff, Dianne Ebertt. A Grand Madness. U2 Twenty Years After. Tucson, AZ: Hawkmoon Publishing, 2020.
Bono. “Introduction.” Selections from the Book of Psalms: Authorized King James Version. New York: City, NY: Grove Press, 1999.
Bono. On The Move. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006.
Bordowitz, Hank, ed. The U2 Reader. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003.
Bowler, Dave and Dray, Bryan. U2: A Conspiracy of Hope. London: Pan Books, 1994 (1993).
Brocklebank, Patrick, Sinéad Molony. Where The Streets Have 2 Names. U2 and the Dublin Music Scene 1978-1981. Dublin: Liberties Press, 2013.
Brandt, Winston. U2. New York: Ballantine Books, 1986.
Briggs, Richard S. “‘A Table in the Presence of My Enemies’: ‘Songs of Descent’ from Psalm 23 to U2’s Pop.” Glass 32 (2020), 50-55.
Brothers, Robyn. “Time to Heal, ‘Desire’ Time. The Cyber-prophesy of U2’s ‘Zoo World Order.’” In Reading Rock and Roll: Authenticity, Appropriation, Aesthetics, edited by Kevin J. H. Dettmar and William Richey, 237-267. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.
Calhoun, Scott. “The @U2 Interview: Flood. Return to Zooropa.” 26 July, 2013. Available here.
Calhoun, Scott. “Bono’s Prophetic Vox. The Message Author Says U2’s Message is Refreshing, Faithful and Honest.” February 9, 2006. Available here.
Calhoun, Scott, ed. Exploring U2: Is This Rock ’N’ Roll? Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011.
Calhoun, Scott. “The Legend of Bono Vox. Lessons Learned in the Church of U2.” Books & Culture November/December 2004. 10-14.
Calhoun, Scott. “The Shadow Man Cometh: Flannery O’Connor’s Influence on U2’s The Joshua Tree.” @U2. September 12. 2017. Available here.
Calhoun, Scott, ed. U2 and the Religious Impulse: Take Me Higher. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2018.
Calhoun, Scott. “Where Could We Go From Here? The State of U2 Studies.” Books & Culture November/December 2009. 14-15.
Calhoun, Scott, and Christopher Endrinal, eds. U2 Above, Across, and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Assessments. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014.
Catanzarite, Stephen. Achtung Baby: Meditations On Love In The Shadow Of The Fall. New York: Continuum Books, 2007.
Chatterton, Mark. U2: The Complete Encyclopedia. UK: Fire Fly Publishing, 2001.
Chesher, Chris. “Becoming The Milky Way: Mobile Phones And Actor Networks At A U2 Concert.” Journal Of Media & Cultural Studies 21.2 (2007): 217-225.
Cogan, Visna. U2: An Irish Phenomenon. New York: Pegasus Books, 2007.
Corbin, Anton. U2&I: The Photographs: 1982-2004. Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2008.
Côté, Thierry. “Popular Musicians and Their Songs as Threats to National Security: A World Perspective.” The Journal of Popular Culture 44.4 (2011): 732-754.
Crafton, Lisa Plummer. “‘Tangle of Matter and Ghost’: U2, Leonard Cohen, and Blakean Romanticism.” In Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2, edited by James Rovira, 65-82. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018.
DeCurtis, Anthony. 2001. “Bono: The Beliefnet Interview.” February 2001.
Deichmann, Joel. “Analysis of U2’s Concert Performance Location Choice:
Application of an Adapted Gravity Model.” International Business Research. 7.11 (2014): 190-202. Available here.
De La Parra, Pimm Jal. U2 Live: A Concert Documentary. London: Omnibus Press, 2003 (1994).
Ditchfield, Christin. Bono. Life Skills Biographies. Ann Arbor, MI: Cherry Lake Publishing, 2008. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 43 pages.)
Dunphy, Eamon. Unforgettable Fire. New York: Warner Books, 1987.
Endrinal, Christopher. “Form and Style in the Music of U2.” PhD diss., Florida State University, 2008.
Farrell, Nathan. “Celebrity Politics: Bono, Product (RED) And The Legitimising Of Philanthrocapitalism.” British Journal Of Politics & International Relations 14.3 (2012): 392-406.
Fallon, B. P. U2: Faraway So Close. Boston: Little, Brown, 1994.
Fast, Susan. “Music, contexts, and meaning in U2.” In Expression in Pop-Rock Music, edited by Walter Everett. New York: Routledge, 2008, 33-57.
Flanagan, Bill. U2 At the End of the World. New York: Delacorte Press, 1995.
Galbraith, Deane. “Drawing Our Fish in the Sand: Secret Biblical Allusions in the Music of U2.” Biblical Interpretation: A Journal of Contemporary Approaches 19:2 (2011): 181-222.
Galbraith, Deane. “Meeting God in the Sound: The Seductive Dimension of U2’s Future Hymns.” In The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Rock ’n’ Roll: Songs of Fear and Trembling. Ed. Mike Grimshaw. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 119-135.
Garrett, Greg. We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel According to U2. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
Garvey, Amy, ed. U2: The Early Days. New York: Dell Publishing, 1989.
Gilmour, Michael. “The Prophet Jeremiah, Aung San Suu Kyi, and U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind: On Listening to Bono’s Jeremiad.” In Call Me the Seeker. Listening to Religion in Popular Music, edited by Michael Gilmour. 34-43. New York: Continuum, 2005.
Gittins, Ian. U2: The Best of Propaganda. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003.
Godson, Lisa, Steve Averill, Shaughn McGrath. Stealing Hearts from a Travelling Show: The Graphic Design of U2. Dublin: Four5OneCreative, 2003.
Goodman, Sam. U2: Burning Desire. Chessington, Surrey: Castle Communications Place, 1993.
Graham, Bill. U2: The Early Days. New York: Delta, 1989.
Graham, Bill and Caroline van Oosten de Boer. U2: The Complete Guide to their Music. London: Omnibus Press, 2004.
Harris, Paul. “U2’s Creative Process: Sketching in Sound.” PhD diss., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006.
Helme, Deborah. A Powerful Voice: The Story of Bono from U2. The Faith In Action Series. Norwich, Norfolk: RMEP, 2004. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 24 pages.)
Hewson, Paul. “Elvis: The White Nigger.” In Across the Frontiers: Ireland in the 1990s, edited by Richard Kearney. 188-191. Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 1988.
Holm-Hudson, Kevin. “Et Tu, U2? ‘Wake Up Dead Man’ and Bono’s Perceived Betrayal of the Faith.” Journal of Religion & Popular Culture 16:2 (2007).
Huliaras, Asteris and Nikolaos Tzifakis. “Personal Connections, Unexpected Journeys: U2 and Angelina Jolie in Bosnia.” Celebrity Studies. 6.4 (2015): 443-456.
Huston, Jennifer L. U2: Changing the World Through Rock ‘n’ Roll. Legends of Rock Series. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2015. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 29 pages.)
Johnson, Fred. “U2, Mythology, and Mass-mediated Survival.” Popular Music and Society. 27:1 (2004): 79-87.
Johnston, Brian. “Haunted Spaces: An Examination of Alternative Memorialization Practices via U2’s ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’.” Journal of Communications Media Studies. Vol. 7, 2015: 29-46.
Johnston, Brian and Susan Mackey-Kalis. Myth, Fan Culture, and the Popular Appeal of Liminality in the Music of U2: A Love Story. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018.
Jones, Dyln, Ralph Larmann. From The Ground Up. U2 360° Tour Official Photobook. London: Preface Publishing, 2012.
Kamberg, Mary-Lane. Bono: Fighting World Hunger and Poverty. Celebrity Activists Series. New York, NY: Rosen Publishing, 2008. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 112 pages.)
Kärki, Kimi. “Pop Art to PopMart: Gendered Stadium Stardom Aesthetics and Stage Designer Mark Fisher’s Creative Work Process.” In Sounds of the Overground: Selected Papers from a Postgraduate Colloquium on Ubiquitous Music in Everyday Life, edited by Nedim Hassan and Holly Tesser. Turku, Finland: International Institute for Popular Culture, 2010.
Kearney, David. “‘I Can’t Believe the News Today’: Music and the Politics of Change.” Chimera 24 (2009): 122–140. Available online here.
Kootnikoff, David. Bono: A Biography. Greenwood Biographies. Santa Barbara, CA: 2012. 168 pages.
Kootnikoff, David. U2: A Musical Biography. Greenwood Biographies. Santa Barbara, CA: 2010. 141 pages.
Lizie, Arthur. Dreaming the World: U2 Fans, Online Community and Intercultural Communication. New York: Hampton Press, 2009.
Lomonaco, Barbara. “Queuing Among U2 Fans: Reactions to Social Norm Violations.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 38.9 (2008): 2378–2393. Available online here.
Mackey‐Kallis, Susan. “’How long to sing this song?’ The rhetorical vision of U2’s ‘Holy’ Community.” Popular Music and Society. 14.3 (1990): 51-58.
Marsh, Clive, and Vaughan S. Roberts. “Soundtracks of Acrobatic Selves: Fan-Site Religion in the Reception and Use of the Music of U2.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 26, 2011, 419-432.
Maynard, Beth and Whiteley, Raewynne J., eds. Get Up Off Your Knees. Preaching the U2 Catalog. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2003.
McCormick, Neil. Killing Bono. New York: Pocket Books, 2004.
McCormick, Neil and U2. U2 By U2. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.
McLaughlin, Noel. “Bono! Do You Ever Take Those Wretched Sunglasses Off?: U2 And The Performance Of Irishness.” Popular Music History 4.3 (2009): 309-331.
McLaughlin, Noel. “Post-punk Industrial Cyber Opera? The Ambivalent and Disruptive Hybridity of Early 1990s’ U2.” In Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond, edited by Mark Fitzgerald and John O’Flynn. Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2014. 1779-202.
McLaughlin, Noel, Martin McLoone. Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012.
McFlicker, Todd. All You Need is Love to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. How the Beatles & U2 Changed the World. New York: Continuum, 2007.
McGee, Matt. U2: A Diary. 2nd ed. New York: Omnibus, 2011.
McPherson, Alan. The World and U2: One Band’s Remaking of Global Activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
Morley, Veronica, Katrinka Somdahl-Sands. “Music With A Message: U2’s Rock Concerts as Spectacular Spaces of Politics.” Aether: The Journal of Media Geography 8 (2011): 58-74. Available here.
Murphy, Debra Dean. “’Beautiful Day’ or ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’? The Wisdom of U2charist in Congregational Worship.” Liturgy. 28.3 (2013): 25-32.
Negativland. Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. Concord, CA: Seeland, 1995.
Neufeld, Timothy D. U2: Rock ‘n’ Roll to Change the World. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
Nigro, Nicholas, ed. The Spirituality of Bono: A Book of Inspiring Quotes. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard / Backbeat Books, 2014.
Pinkston, Dan. “U2 And Igor Stravinsky: Textures, Timbres, And The Devil.” Christian Scholar’s Review 41.2 (2012): 147-162.
Ponte, Stefano, Lisa Ann Richey, and Mike Baab. “Bono’s Product (RED) Initiative: Corporate Social Responsibility That Solves the Problems of ‘Distant Others.'” Third World Quarterly 30:2 (2009): 301-317.
Quinn, Steven. “U2 and the Performance of (a Numb) Resistance.” Social Semiotics 9:1 (1999): 67-83.
Ramert, Lynn. “A Century Apart: The Personality Performances of Oscar Wilde in the 1890s and U2’s Bono in the 1990s.” Popular Music and Society. 32:4 (2009): 447–460.
Rasmussen Pennington, D.”‘The most passionate cover I’ve seen’: Emotional information in fan-created U2 music videos.” Journal of Documentation. 72:3 (2016): 569-590. Full text available here.
Richey, Lisa Ann, and Stefano Ponte. “Better (Red)™ Than Dead? Celebrities, Consumption and International Aid.” Third World Quarterly 29:4 (2008): 711-729.
Richey, Lisa Ann. Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World.Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
Scharen, Christian. One Step Closer. Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006.
Scrimgeour, Diana. U2 Show. New York: Riverhead Books, 2004.
Seales, Chad E. “Burned Over Bono: U2’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Messiah and His Religious Politic.” Journal of Religion & Popular Culture 14:1 (2006).
Shirley, Jackie. U2. Stanford, Connecticut: Longmeadow Press, 1993.
Shruers, Fred. “U2.” Music Sound Output. December 1984: 40, 41-46.
Snow, Mat. U2: Revolution. New York: Race Point Publishing, 2014.
Stein, Atara. “Epipsychidion, Achtung Baby, and the Teaching of Romanticism.” Popular Culture Review 6:1 (1995): 29-44.
Stein, Atara.“’Even Better Than the Real Thing.’ U2’s (Love) Songs of the Self.” In Reading Rock and Roll: Authenticity, Appropriation, Aesthetics edited by Kevin J. H. Dettmar and William Richey, 269-286. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.
Stockman, Steve. Walk On. The Spiritual Journey of U2. Relevant Media Group, Inc., 2005.
Stokes, Niall. U2: Into the Heart. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003 (1996).
Stokes, Niall, ed. U2 In Dublin: 1978-1983. A Hot Press Original Title for U2.com. 2014.
Stokes, Niall, ed. The U2 File. Dublin: Hot Press, 1985.
Stokes, Niall and Liam Mackey, eds. U2: Three Chords and the Truth. New York: Harmony Books, 1989.
Thomas, Dave. U2: Stories for Boys. London, UK: Bobcat Books, 1986.
Trachtenberg, Martha. Bono: Rock Star Activist. Berkley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2008. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 110 pages.)
Traub, James. “The Statesman.” The New York Times Magazine. September 18, 2005: 80+.
Tyrangiel, Josh. “The Constant Charmer.” Time. December 26, 2005/January 2, 2006 2005: 46,47-71.
U2: The Ultimate Compendium of Interviews, Articles, Facts and Opinions from the Files of Rolling Stone. Editors of Rolling Stone. New York: Hyperion/Rolling Stone Press, 1994.
Uncut Presents U2. Legends #3. Vol. 1, Issue 3. (Special issue dedicated to U2.) 2004.
Vagacs, Robert. Religious Nuts, Political Fanatics. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2005.
VanderSpek, Henry. Faith, Hope & U2. Toronto: Digory Designs, 2000.
Van den Berg, Jan Albert. “The Gospel According to Bono and U2? Worship in the New Millennium.” Chapter in: A Faithful Witness. Essays in Honour of Malan Nel. Edited by H. Pieterse and C. Thesnaar. Wellington: Bible Media, 2009. 197-208. Free to download with a free Academia.edu account.
Van de Kamp, Bert. And They Called Him Bono: Close Encounters 1982 – 2010. Invy Books: 2010. (First printed in Dutch. Now available in English.)
Washburn, Kim. Breaking Through by Grace: The Bono Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz/Zondervan, 2010. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 93 pages.)
Waters, John. Race of Angels. London: Fourth Estate Limited, 1994.
Welch, Marshall J. “We Get To Carry Each Other: Using the Musical Activism of U2 As A Framework for an Engaged Spirituality & Community Engagement Course.” Engaging Pedagogies in Catholic Higher Education 1.1 (2015): 1-10. Free to download with a free Academia.edu account.
Whitt, David. “Songs of Ascent: Teaching the History, Music and Activism of U2.” In Popular Music in the Classroom: Essays for Instructors, ed. David Whitt. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2020. 146 – 162.
Williams, Michael. “One but not the same: U2 Concerts, Community and Cultural Identity.” In Identity Discourses and Communities in International Events, Festivals and Celebrations. Ed. Udo Merkel. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 242-259.
Williams, Michael. “Politics as spectacle: U2’s 360° tour (2009-11),” In Power, Politics and International Events: Socio-cultural Analyses of Festivals and Spectacles. Ed. Udo Merkel. London: Routledge, 2014. 174-190.
Williams, Peter and Steve Turner. U2 Rattle and Hum: The Official Book of the U2 Movie. New York: Harmony Books, 1988.
Winckelmann, Thom, and Lynn Abushanab. Bono: Rock Star & Humanitarian. Edina, MN: ABDO Publishing, 2010. (For elementary or middle school readings levels, 94 pages.)
Wrathall, Mark A., ed. U2 and Philosophy. Popular Culture and Philosophy Series. Vol. 21. Illinois: Open Court, 2006.