Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

by Rachel Maddow
3.9 142

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Overview

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow

The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America’s dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war.

Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. 
   Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307460998
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 100,759
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

RACHEL MADDOW has hosted the Emmy Award–winning Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC since 2008. Before that, she was at Air America Radio for the duration of that underappreciated enterprise. She has a doctorate in politics from Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford. She lives in rural western Massachusetts and New York City with her partner, artist Susan Mikula, and an enormous dog.

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Drift 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
VA_Reader More than 1 year ago
I'm not a fan of political nonfiction and rarely read it. Despite that I found this book interesting, entertaining, and insightful. It's as much a ride through certain aspects of American history as it is a political argument. The author manages to cover rather vast ground, and raises some provocative points while doing so. I'd recommend this to anyone that has an interest in military history, politics, or just smart reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely good, non-fiction that is a page turner. I had a hard time not reading this non-stop, but I had to sleep sometime. Ms Maddow relates how we became the world's most militant, military obsessed nation on earth, with a military answerable only to the President. As funny as sections of the book are, the grim reality does prevent any real laughing.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Very fitting that I read this book as I was waiting to greet President Obama as he visited Atlanta, Georgia on a fundraising trip. As I transition inside “the bubble” and waited for POTUS (President of the United States) I was struck of all the layers of security that encompass this institution that revolved around one individual, the President. In Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow, the author takes the reader through a history of the evolution of the current military industrial complex. More importantly how this military has somehow disconnected from the American psyche. There was a time not so long ago that most Americans worried about the dough boys across the pond as they fought for freedom. Today, when the war against Iraq came to an end, it was only blip on the national screen. No parades, spontaneous celebrations, or large commemorations. The book also delves into how many of the duties once held by the military have been transferred to private firms. The United States is no doubt the leader of the free world, but what is our duty to use that power? Should we or are we required to be the world’s police? This though provoking book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, is a amazing analysis of the current state of American military power.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, revealing and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So you think you are being told by the powers in Washington what is being carried out in the name of justice paid for by the taxpayers of the USA. Read on, this is your chance to absorb facts penned in an easy sometimes humorous way. I must admit to being fed a lot of these facts in news reports but chosing to swallow without so much as, "I better check this out". Thanks to Ms. Maddow I am no longer ignorant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent review of how the American military has evolved from a defensive force to a mostly secret private offensive force. She explains how a large war was not easily possible for the executive branch to initiate without having Congress declare war. How a large number of soldiers were needed for ground operations and calling up Reserves affected the economy by taking workers away from jobs. But today top secret America can send armed drones anywhere and control them from an air-conditioned hideaway in the USA. With all this secrecy and privitiazation the costs can be hidden as well. She also mentions the waste, fraud and unaccountable expenditiures by these private companies. Finally someone has said what I have been thinking, this 10 year war in the Middle East and the expansion of top secret American since 9/11 has as much to do with our America's deficit spending as anything. Vietnam placed a heavy burden on us, so much so Nixon had to remove the gold backing of our dollar in 1971. Because of the size our military and its related arms, and the extensive training, and costs, it must constantly be used, like now against the never ending elusive terrorist. From the drummed up Bay of Tonkin to move big into Vietnam, to the weapons of mass destruction to move us on to Iraq, seems there always is an excuse to make sure our country is safe. But I wonder why Japan, Germany, Brazil, don't have those same worries. As a Vietnam Veteran, I still wonder how that war made us safer. What did we get from the cost of a ten year war in Vietnam? What we we get from this present War? Rachel Maddow gives us a starting point to move forward so this country cannot start a war so easily and maybe we can bring to light the true cost of what our country spends on military power.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rachel tackles a topic that has not been appropriately addressed at this level in her own intelligent, sensible, and humorous way. This book is not hyperpartisan, and is a valuable review of how we got to a place where war is easy and something that only happens to other people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Politifact is unreliable. That is why they don't like Maddow, she points out their lies.
myronlh More than 1 year ago
This should be required reading for every voter. I wish I could share Rachel’s view that it is possible for this country to climb back up the slippery slope we are on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well written & interesting
CAM57 More than 1 year ago
First, I must state that I am a Rachel Maddow fan. I find her to be a progressive, yes, but a person who treats those with opposing views fairly, an interviewer who does due diligence with her research. She is not an inciter, nor is she mean spirited. That said, DRIFT treats both political parties the same-- essentially that presidents of both parties misused presidential powers to skirt the Abrams doctrine to send our troops to battle without getting Congressional approval. That the wars that we have recently been involved in have been fought with little sacrifice from any but the troops and their families. That tax cuts while spending more and more money on war is obscene. That war should involve all of our citizens, and that we should all feel it-- and we don't. Maddow also writes in a style that makes the book an easy read. She is engaging, her use of irony is spot on. A good read-- for both the Left and the Right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way to go Rachel!
AustiniteJH More than 1 year ago
An earlier review claims that Politifact evaluated this book. Not true. Excellent book-skewers both left and right on how the military has been used and abused.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was blowen away by this book so much info and alittle scary
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought a copy for my Nook Simple Touch, and so far have read the first prologue and first chapter. Extremely informative and thought-provoking--citing tons of historical events and social changes!
Boltach More than 1 year ago
Drift, written by MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow takes a candid look at the drift from the founding father's scope of the United States military and where it is today. Maddow argues that the military is too big, spends money wastefully, corrupted by private contractors who are not under any jurisdiction, and far from the original concept of the founding fathers. A few things that I enjoyed about the book are - the in depth account of Ronald Regan's involvement in the Iran Contra scandal which I never knew, who she dedicates the book to - Dick Cheney, Maddow's instance that we need to limit the President to Constitutional powers, and the chapter on our nuclear arsenal. One more note on Dick Cheney, I have always had disdain for him but after this book , that feeling is even more rooted. This is due to his involvement with Halliburton and its subsidiaries and how he constantly beats the drums of war. A few things that was not my preference was that her extra verbiage in many sentences. The added words feels like she is uppity and an intellectual and has to prove it; I guess I prefer a much more direct writing style. Also, she starts off the book speaking generally and then zero's right in to blaming Regan; I almost felt like the entire blame is put on Regan. Now to be honest, she does continue right down to Obama but I felt that blame was too much of a jump. The last chapter will stick with me regarding the storage and upkeep of America's nuclear arsenal. Maddow touches on a few incidents in the previous 50 years and that a few times we have come close to detonation of nuclear warheads. Also, I never knew about the one in Spain in which the soil had to be taken away and it is still radioactive today. Overall, the book is a 4 / 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read and thought provoking. Specially when you put into a larger context the complexities of government and modern conflicts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WRITTEN IN THE MADDOW STYLE- SMART, WITTY AND EXTRAORDINARILY INCITEFUL. ALL OF US SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION, THE WAGING OF WAR CAN BE SEDUCTIVE IN A WAY THAT MAKES US PUT REASON ASIDE AND LEADS US DOWN A PATH OF DIRE CONSEQENCES. THIS BOOK IS WELL WORTH READING.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I am not a huge Maddow fan but the book was so thought provoking that it gave me a chance to really think about what this country is doing and how other countries perceive us. This woman is highly educated and has the degrees and the salary to prove it. For all those rating this a 1 I can honestly tell you in a partisan way how foolish they are to not have an open mind. I also do not have an open mind when it comes to what our Congress is doing to this country right now. There is a class war and a gender war going on right here inside our own borders. I had to laugh when I saw the spelling errors on many of this "1" reviews. Apparently they are just plain old liberal and progressive haters. As many have stated before, if Ronald Reagan was running he would not have won the POTUS title as he was too far left. This country is appalling to me in so many ways of how we mistreat people. And for those religious Christians, this is not what Jesus would have done. So open up your minds and read the book and see how interesting it is.
TheShort1 More than 1 year ago
This book is a very important read for anyone!! It tells how we got into the mess we are in now. Too much money spent on wars, prep for them, and the private sector that now provides support for our military. If you want to find out how your tax dollars are spent and find out how we got into this black hole of funding read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW. For a country that has been at war for 11 years this should be required reading for all. It isn't a book about lefty/righty politics (don't let Maddow's day job fool you); it is an impeccably researched thesis on how/why we go to war and the expansion of Executive power. I highly recommend it to you as a summer read that will make you smarter (and maybe a bit sleepless about how our nukes are taken care of...)
bookladygran More than 1 year ago
Well written and witty, it is both educational and entertaining. I was impressed that the liberal author had a note on the back cover from the CEO of Fox News saying that she makes valid arguments. Is the book the absolute truth on all the topics? Likely not, but it does present a point of view very well. I purchased this thinking I should read it, then found myself saying, wow, this is interesting. I finished it in one day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rachel for President!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although there is a lot of wasted money in the military, it doesn't begin to compare with the tremendous waste of our tax money to get progressives on the left and even the right elected to and holding onto their power. People are.basically buying their political seats and lying to get elected with the help of a complicit media, including Ms. Maddow. The brave.men and women who serve in our military are more valuable than the corrupt politicians and highly paid media personalities by a long shot.
drakevaughn More than 1 year ago
Next up on my election year barrage of political books is Rachel Maddow’s Drift. First off, I am a huge fan of her TV show, so any criticism isn’t political or personal in nature. Nor did I find any incorrect or misstated facts throughout the book. My core issue is the same criticism I have with all punditry books—they begin with an ideological premise and then pick out facts to demonstrate its validity. Drift was no exception. Though, my largest critique was the book’s heavy focus on the past, rather than current affairs. Of course, a thorough understanding of history is necessary to comprehend current politics, but Maddow overindulges in minor affairs such as the war in Grenada that have little to do with the exploding militarization of today. I found the rehashing of twenty-year old scandals to be a major detriment to the book’s overall theme. But again, I was already well acquainted with them, so these revelations might be illuminating to younger or less informed readers. Still, this came at the expense of more modern and relevant news, which Maddow normally excels at on her show. I could’ve skipped the Reagan bashing for more reporting on Blackwater/Xe…or whatever the hell the company is named now. And this is only one of thousands of companies operating in the private military industry. But don’t get me wrong, I have no issues setting the record straight on Reagan; I just didn’t feel it worked well for the overall premise of the book. All in all, Drift was a good book, but I expected more than reiteration of old news from Maddow. She is a terrific reporter and I wish she’d concentrate on gathering stories rather than being a pundit. But again, I usually loathe punditry books, even those from the left, so the fact I didn’t with this one speaks volumes. And Drift did contain some insightful sections and solidly researched stories, so I recommend it for the casual political reader. Still, for junkies like me, I’d suggest getting your political fix elsewhere.