Synopses & Reviews
Examining the multigenerational impact of punk rock music, this international survey of the political-punk straight edge movementwhich has persisted as a drug-free, hardcore subculture for more than 25 yearstraces its history from 1980s Washington, DC, to today. Asserting that drugs are not necessarily rebellious and that not all rebels do them, the record also defies common conceptions of straight edge's political legacy as being associated with self-righteous, macho posturing and conservative Puritanism. On the contrary, the movement has been linked to radical thought and action by the countless individuals, bands, and entire scenes profiled throughout the discussion. Lively and exhaustive, this dynamic overview includes contributions from famed straight edge punk rockers Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, Dennis Lyxzén of Refused and the International Noise Conspiracy, and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy; legendary bands ManLiftingBanner and Point of No Return; radical collectives such as CrimethInc. and Alpine Anarchist Productions; and numerous other artists and activists dedicated as much to sober living as to the fight for a better world.
"Perhaps the greatest reason I am still committed to [straight edge, also known as sXe] is an unfailing belief that sXe is more than music, that it can be a force of change. I believe in the power of sXe as a bridge to social change, as an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world." Ross Haenfler, professor of sociology, University of Mississippi, and author, Straight Edge: Clean-Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, And Social Change
"An 'ecstatic sobriety' which combats the dreariness of one and the bleariness of the otherfalse pleasure and false discretion alikeis analogous to the anarchism that confronts both the false freedom offered by capitalism and the false community offered by communism." CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective
"Less 'get pissed, destroy', more 'use your brain, change the world'. And it's for all ages, too." Classic Rock Magazine
"Kuhn's book can be credited as the first deeply international account of straight edge and perhaps the first to draw from the voices of women and queer folks as central (rather than ornamental) to the subject's history." —www.UppingTheAnti.org
About the Author
Gabriel Kuhn is the author of Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy and Women Pirates and the Politics of the Jolly Roger.