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The Rosary and the Microphone

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Nominated for the IASPM-Canada book prize 2020

The Rosary and the Microphone explores U2 as a politically engaged band that manifests a particular brand of Christianity through the band’s mediation in a global context and for a global audience.

Through the primarily semiotic study of U2’s various mediations, this book maps the band’s strategies for negotiating its place in the world as a global band — and a mediated brand — and as a proponent of a kind of cosmopolitanism, or global care. U2’s brand is heavily informed by Bono’s own personal religious formation. This religious viewpoint is expressed in a global concern — a Christian cosmopolitanism — that looks outward and urges others to do the same.

The Rosary and the Microphone explores U2 in live performance, through music videos and in unique media offerings, such as the feature-length music video Linear.

Published: Oct 23, 2019


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Nicholas Greco
Preface Nicholas Greco
Introduction Nicholas Greco
Chapter 1
From Underground to Overground: U2 from Boy to Rattle and Hum Nicholas Greco
Chapter 2
U2 and the Blinding Lights of the City Nicholas Greco
Chapter 3
Beautiful Day: Technological Optimism, Gesture and Intimacy Nicholas Greco
Chapter 4
The Irish in America: Nationalism and Politics on Tour Nicholas Greco
Chapter 5
The Rosary and the Microphone: Social Justice and the Stage Nicholas Greco
Chapter 6
Linear: A Way Forward Nicholas Greco
Chapter 7
Songs of Innocence as Barthes' Ideal Novel Nicholas Greco
Chapter 8
Conclusions: A Cosmopolitan Christianity Nicholas Greco
End Matter
Bibliography Nicholas Greco
Index Nicholas Greco


The Rosary and the Microphone is at turns intelligent and stimulating, offering insight into what, for this reviewer, is a beloved band... an engaging, well-synthesized academic study that was overall enjoyable to read.
The U2 Conference website