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U2 by U2 Hardcover – September 26, 2006

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Editorial Reviews Review

In 1975, four teenagers from Mount Temple School in Dublin gathered in a crowded kitchen to discuss forming a band. The drum kit just about fit into the room, the lead guitarist was playing a homemade guitar, the bassist could barely play at all and nobody wanted to sing. Over thirty years later, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are still together, bound by intense loyalty, passionate idealism and a relentless belief in the power of rock and roll to change the world.

Watch a video introduction to U2 by U2

In a epic journey that has taken them from the clubs of Dublin to the stadiums of the world, U2 have sold over 130 million albums, been number one all over the world, revolutionized live performance, spearheaded political campaigns and made music that defines the age we live in.

From the anarchic days of their Seventies punk origins through their Eighties ascent to superstardom with the epic rock of The Joshua Tree, the dark post-modern ironies of Achtung Baby in the Nineties and their 21st-Century resurgence as rock's biggest and boldest band, this is a tale of faith, love, drama, family, birth, death, survival, conflict, crises, creativity . . . and a lot of laughter.

Told with wit, insight and astonishing candour by the band themselves and manager Paul McGuinness, with pictures from their own archives, U2 by U2 allows unprecedented access into the inner life of the greatest rock band of our times.


“Arguably the greatest rock band on the planet, U2 now offers the definitive version of how it got there.” (USA Today)

“Fascinating details.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“...a definitive retrospective based on more than 150 hours of interviews.” (Rolling Stone)

“The book is sure to satisfy even the truly dedicated.” (Vanity Fair)

“...U2 BY U2 sure feels a lot like gospel.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Recommended for all popular music collections.” (Library Journal)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1st Us Edition edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060776757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060776756
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hedden on October 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If anyone here owns the Beatles Anthology companion book to the TV series/CD's, this isn't much different. The story is "written" by the band, quotes culled from over 150 hours of interviews done for Neil McCormick. Every phase of the band's career, from it's earliest days straight through to "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" is told solely through quotes from each band member, making this is as definitive, brutally honest, unflinching and uncompromising a book on the band as we'll ever see. These aren't moments plagiarized from magazine articles or other books, but personal recollections.

The pictures were taken from the band's personal archives. As much as there is to read here there's just as much to look at. You can honestly say, "I have NEVER seen this shot before" over and over again. This is a beautifully laid out book.

Moreso than any other book on U2, this book can be accurately described in two words: "definitive" and "essential". The band has the last word on it's personal history and here it is. Now If only there were a Beatles Anthology style DVD set on U2 to go along with this....
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BMK on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a mind-blower for even the most fervent U2 fan. Read all the other books on the group? Well, this one adds to everything you already know about them, plus takes it to all-new levels and truly lets the fan inside U2's circle. The text is all written by the bandmembers themselves (and Mr. McGuinness, of course), and what comes through is an epic story of 4 humble, generous, talented -- and very different -- individuals who came together and jelled into a searching, spiritual (and occasionally stumbling) supergroup that has found a way to soar. The best aspect of the self-narrative by Bono, Edge, Larry, and Adam is the great depth of feeling and respect for each other that comes through -- whether it's Adam and Larry discussing the bond they have on stage, or Edge expressing protectiveness of Bono in the face of myths that have grown up around him and how they make him (Bono) vulnerable. On top of all this is the incredible wealth of photos that span U2's great career. There's just tons of great stuff here. I loved the books on U2 by Flanagan, Corbin, Stockman, et al, but this one is far and away the best. It's like really, TRULY meeting the band for the first time.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jen G. on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Owning this book is literally like owning their history. The pictures are just beyond amazing. Every U2 picture you've ever seen do NO justice to how beautiful and charming these four men really are. Page after page after page reveals a facet to their lives with new, never-before-seen views into their past with humorous commentary to go with it. Just when you thought you'd seen and heard everything about U2... oh no my friend, you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet.

Definitely a must-have for die-hard fans!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
U2 by U2 is a book to possess. Unlike so many coffee table books, it's actually better for what it says than for what it shows. Furthermore, this is no exercise in self congratulation, as so many of these sorts of books turn out to be, it's something much greater. Amid a lot of terrific photography is a story as told by those from deep within the inside of the thirty-year project in music and social awareness that is U2. Anyone who ever accuses this band of narcissism and egotism should read this self-deprecating exercise in honesty, humility, and passionate gratitude for all the blessings these four men from Dublin acknowledge they've been given. Long before this quartet played arenas filled with adoring fans, they were unknown Irish boys with big dreams and a lot of almost innocent ambitions. Since their early start on homemade instruments in the mid-1970's, U2 has become not only the greatest rock and roll band active today---achievement enough in and of itself---but as headed by its conscience, U2 has been the force behind humanitarianism truly worthy of a Nobel Prize. U2 by U2 will only disappoint those who want the band to be iconic rather than human. For others, this is a testament in words and pictures to four decades of ups and downs, brilliance and endurance, and it is also just a plain and simple darn good read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Figurito on November 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
U2 by U2 is everything a fan would love. I've been an avid fan for over 20 years, since July 13, 1985 (true fans will know what took place on that date). This book gives the insight I've always wanted about this wonderful group of musicians. U2 by U2 gives the story behind every song from their viewpoint (unlike "U2, the Story Behind Every Song", a book which was not from the band's viewpoint). This book delves deep into the elements that formulated each song. Whenever I listen to music, I always think of the mindset of the band and the way the song developed that led to its recording. U2 by U2 answered every question I ever had about U2's work, and I enjoyed it immensely. The band members revealed their human side in their extensive personal writings, and I fell more in love with them as a group having read this book. The pictures in the book surpass any I have ever seen, including the pictures contained in Anton Corbjin's book, U2 & i. This book is a must have for every U2 fan.

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