Bono and the Polarizing Face of Celebrity Activism

The Takeaway

Is there a more polarizing contemporary rockstar than Bono? For some, the U2 frontman’s international relief efforts epitomize what can be accomplished when a celebrity harnesses his fame to tackle global problems.
For instance, Bill Clinton said of Bono: “Few people have done more to mobilise a global response to the fight against poverty and disease than Bono. He is one of the most effective, committed advocates I have ever met for debt relief and aid for the poorest nations, and for increased funding to fight Aids and other diseases whose victims are overwhelmingly young and poor. We are all in his debt.”
But for others, Bono’s self-appointed role as the definitive celebrity activist is a narcissistic venture that does as much harm (if not more harm) as good for the people he purports to be helping. Harry Browne falls into this second camp. He is author of “The Frontman,” a new controversial biography of Bono that focuses on his activism.

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