Author describes Bono as “an ambassador for imperial exploitation”

Book is scathing of how it says Bono “defended U2’s partial move to Amsterdam, avoiding Irish taxes”

Aythor Harry Browne described  Bono as “an ambassador for imperial exploitation”. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Aythor Harry Browne described Bono as “an ambassador for imperial exploitation”. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Wed, Jun 12, 2013, 01:00

The author of a new book that criticises Bono’s advocacy work has said the book “has a lot of flaws, was written pretty quickly” and was not his “life’s work”.

Journalist and activist Harry Browne was reacting to criticism made at the weekend of The Frontman: Bono (In the name of power). The book is scathing of how it says Bono, “defended U2’s partial move to Amsterdam, avoiding Irish taxes; his paternalistic advocacy of neoliberal solutions in Africa and his multinational business interests”.

It describes the singer as “an ambassador for imperial exploitation”, and the single figure who best encapsulates “the delusions, pretensions and wrongheadedness” of celebrity philanthropy.

Speaking at the launch, Browne said he was “quite pleased” by a negative review given to it by the Sunday Independent – “I would have been hurt if they had liked the book”, he said. He said the review misrepresented his book “quite considerably”.

“I don’t pretend that it’s the perfect book about Bono. The world awaits
that yet. And I’m ready to have arguments about it.”

Browne said that he didn’t “hate Bono” and while the book was about Bono, he hoped it was also about something more than that.