On Straight Edge and Punk Rock: the SXEWORLDWIDE Reading List

Whether it's on the bus, on the subway, or in the tour van, we all have a little time to sit back, focus our thoughts, and do some light reading. Here's your chance to get to know the history of our community, and what it means to be a part of it.

It's also a great way to support this site because as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases:

Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics

Edited by Gabriel Kuhn

Sober Living for the Revolution

Sober Living for the Revolution (2010) undermines the fundamental assertion of the punk rock diaspora that getting wasted is not rebellious, and that plenty of punk revolutionaries don't do them. Works to change the view of The Straight Edge as a just bunch of self-righteous jocks, by showing how it has also been a tool for change. Also one of the first books to show the integral role that women and queer people had in shaping our history.

Featuring essays and interviews with the likes of Ian Mackaye, Dennis Lyxzén of Refused, Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy / Sect XVX / Racetraitor, anarchists, animal liberation activists, and more.

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Straight Edge: Hardcore Punk, Clean Living Youth, and Social Change

by Ross Haenfler

Straight Edge by Ross Haenfler

Ross Haenfler is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Mississippi. He came up in the Denver Straight Edge scene. His book Straight Edge (2006) is an in-depth analysis of the identities and communities within the Straight Edge scene, featuring interviews with the Straight Edge community members that Ross has met in his travels. Also analyzed are the strange contradictions that each of us does our best to ignore about being Straight Edge.

Do not be fooled: this is not light reading. Much attention has been paid to demonstrating that the assertions made in the book are statistically sound. Ross has done a commendable job of legitimizing the ideas and opinions of the scene that existing when the book was originally written.

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Straight Edge: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History

by Tony Rettman

Clear-Headed History of Punk by Tony Rettman

Tony Rettman's Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History is a retelling of the history of the Straight Edge scene by the people who were actually there. Featuring interviews and submissions from members of Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Youth of Today, DYS, Slapshot, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds, Chain of Strength, Insted, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Bold, Project X, Lärm, Shelter, H2O, Strife, Earth Crisis, Vegan Reich, Mindset, Mouthpiece, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Trial, Have Heart, Praise, Clear, the Geeks, and more. 

Rettman has written books on the New York and Detroit hardcore scene, and previously put out the Common Sense zine in the late 80's.

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All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge

by Beth Lahickey
All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge

All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge (1997) was treatise on the second wave of Straight Edge by Beth Lahickey from Revelation Records. Primarily focuses on the Youth Crew / Straight Edge bands influenced by Minor Threat, including Youth of Today, Slapshot, Bold, Side by Side, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Inside Out, and Chain of Strength.

Although the 90's also brought us legendary Straight Edge bands like Snapcase, Earth Crisis, Chokehold, Battery, Indecision, or Mouthpiece, those bands aren't represented here.

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