Straight edge has persisted as a drug-free, hardcore punk subculture for 25 years. Its political legacy, however, remains ambiguous – often associated with self-righteous macho posturing and conservative puritanism. While certain elements of straight edge culture feed into such perception, the movement's political history is far more complex. Since straight edge's origins in Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s, it has been linked to radical thought and action by countless individuals, bands, and entire scenes worldwide. Sober Living for the Revolution traces this history. It includes contributions – in the form of in-depth interviews, essays, and manifestos – by numerous artists and activists connected to straight edge, from Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi) and Mark Andersen (Dance of Days/Positive Force DC) to Dennis Lyxzén (Refused/The (International) Noise Conspiracy) and Andy Hurley (Racetraitor/Fall Out Boy), from bands such as ManLiftingBanner and Point of No Return to feminist and queer initiatives, from radical collectives like CrimethInc. and Alpine Anarchist Productions to the Emancypunx project and many others dedicated as much to sober living as to the fight for a better world.
Examining the multigenerational impact of punk rock music, this international survey of the political-punk straight edge movement--which has persisted as a drug-free, hardcore subculture for more than 25 years--traces 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 Lyxzen 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.