U2 is the biggest band in the world, has sold over 120 million records, played over one thousand concerts in thirty-one countries, and reached number one on the charts with nine studio albums. The sheer longevity and worldwide success of this Irish rock band, with no change in lineup or manager, continues to confound the critics. Visnja Cogan delves into the personal story of U2, beginning with the members' backgrounds, their days in the 1970s as The Hype and Feedback in Dublin, the arrival of Paul McGuinness, and the charismatic Shalom Group, which nearly caused a split. Among the features identified and described as central to U2's success: their sense of community, Irish independence, spirituality, creative drive, ambition, and social conscience. The combination of these elements has allowed U2 to conquer the world. Bono has become a powerful human rights campaigner-one of three TIME magazine activists of 2005, twenty years after U2 first graced the cover. They broke the mold, avoided the "rock star" scene, and constantly struggled to improve. U2 was part of a generation looking for a voice. This book celebrates and pays homage to a band that has given a voice to the modern era-and reveals the reasons that led to the U2 phenomenon. Visnja Cogan has spoken about U2 at international music conferences and has been following the group since 1983. She was born in Croatia, raised in France, and currently is a professor of French at Dublin City University.