We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Drift Audiobook

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Regular Price:$24.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

"One of my favorite ideas is, never to keep an unnecessary soldier," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1792. Neither Jefferson nor the other Founders could ever have envisioned the contemporary national security state, with its tens of thousands of "privateers"; its bloated Department of Homeland Security; its rusting nuclear weapons, ill-maintained and difficult to dismantle; and its strange fascination with an unproven counterinsurgency doctrine.

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, with all the financial and human costs that entails. 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 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. She offers up a fresh, unsparing appraisal of Reagan's radical presidency. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the priorities of the national security state to overpower our political discourse.

Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

©2012 Rachel Maddow (P)2012 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1738 )
5 star
 (1209)
4 star
 (393)
3 star
 (103)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.6 (1574 )
5 star
 (1126)
4 star
 (328)
3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.7 (1579 )
5 star
 (1197)
4 star
 (269)
3 star
 (86)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    mark canon city, CO, United States 04-02-12
    mark canon city, CO, United States 04-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rachel is brilliant"
    What did you love best about Drift?

    Rachel can talk about complex ideas and make them accessible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How I learned to start worrying and hate the bomb (industrial complex)


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    darswords Reno, NV, United States 03-30-12
    darswords Reno, NV, United States 03-30-12 Member Since 2010

    Dar

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thank you, Rachel Maddow!"

    Factual and SCARY! I listened to Rachel read the book on Audible while following along on my Kindle. As has been stated in other reviews, this book is written in conversational style. If you watch her show you know how personable Ms. Maddow is. She includes puns and her opinion, supported by evidence of long hours of research.

    Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I like to leave reality and hang out in fantasy-land. Maybe it is because of being surrounded by Real Life that is quite stressful and frightening. Don't expect to come away from this book mollified. No soothing story, this.

    But Rachel doesn't leave you with a sense of helplessness. This book was written to raise our awareness of what has been happening right under our noses. But once we are aware, there are things we can do to make sure we get back to our constitutional foundations. This points fingers at a lot of wrongs but neither party is innocent.

    I can't believe I read anything about American Military Power. But I feel this book has enlightened me. If it hadn't been written and narrated by Rachel Maddow, I don't think I would have read it.

    Thank you, Rach, for keeping us informed.

    10 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 04-27-12
    Robert 04-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great topic - too bad Maddow is so overly biased i"
    What disappointed you about Drift?

    Maddow is a smart and experienced political commentator and this topic is a serious one worthy of a balanced and honest assessment. However, she is so biased and disparaging in her style that she loses the integrity of her work.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration is over-the-top biased in a maner that completely undermines the credibility of the ideas or the research and analysis.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-15-12
    Graham Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-15-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    142
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This Narrative of This Book is Adrift"

    Everything you need to know about this book is really in the summary. Her argument is simply that the president has over time gained greater unilateral powers to wage wars. Most of the book is just a long historical narrative that sweeps through 40 plus years of US military history, breezing past some very interesting parts such as the cold war, without actually anchoring most of the historical trivia to any purpose other than simply what was stated above. There really is not any expansion of this argument, only the story of how it came to be.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Santa Monica, CA, United States 05-21-12
    Aaron Santa Monica, CA, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Badly read lies"
    What disappointed you about Drift?

    boring lies


    What was most disappointing about Rachel Maddow’s story?

    it isn't the turth a all. A crazy paranoid reality of a demented person.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Her voice made it hard to follow.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Drift?

    The whole thing. It is filled with lies. Start over with the truth.


    Any additional comments?

    I want my money back. Never again. Wanted to see what the fus was about. I am terribly disappointed. Don't make the same mistake as me. If 2 plus 2 is 4 in your reality. Then this book is not for you.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 03-10-15
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 03-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    629
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    836
    455
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    47
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "TO BURY OR TO PRAISE"

    As Brutus tells witnesses to Caesar’s bloody death, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” Ironically, Rachel Maddow, foments a similar feeling about the American military in her book, “Drift”. She attacks executive branch’ usurpation of the Constitution’s separation-of-powers regarding declarations of war while burying the new American military that began changing after Vietnam.

    Maddow is an intelligent liberal commentator for MSNBC. This labeling seems necessary because, though in many respects her analyses of change in the military are spot-on, there is an innate intellectual, liberal bias in her argument.

    Human beings are good and evil; not one or the other but both. Humans also make mistakes; some from stupidity and others from ignorance. Maddow is a rationalist that looks at the Constitution and uses a liberal’s ideals to bolster a belief that adherence to war-making clauses of the Constitution will somehow result in slower and more rational decisions because of extensive debate in Congress. In the real world, there is only rationalization not rational decision making in going to war in advance of a decision to go to war.

    War is only rational or correct in retrospect; never before declaration is made whether by strict constitutional or unconstitutional grounds. It may be that Maddow is acknowledging the irrationality of war by pointing out that the Constitution slows the process of declaring war rather than suggesting it makes the decision more rational but it still begs the question of whether slowing the process makes any difference in a good or bad decision to go to war.

    “Drift” is not an enjoyable listen but it opens one’s eyes to the change that has occurred in the American military. In this reviewer’s mind, “Drift” praises the American military rather than buries it.

    NOTE: Discussion about drones is a significant gap in this review and the consequence of their use remains an open question that is forthrightly raised in Maddow’s book. Drones are the next step in remote war begun by Hitler with the V-2. The consequence of technologically informed killing by drones does not change human nature. Remote killing is an objectification of war that savages morality and anesthetizes personal responsibility.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles austin, TX, United States 12-18-12
    charles austin, TX, United States 12-18-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shocking!"
    Where does Drift rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best book I ever listened to. To hear it from the author just sends it over the top.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Drift?

    The detailing of the Abrams doctrine was eye opening!


    Have you listened to any of Rachel Maddow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Rules, what rules. Presidents don't need them.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ward Fort Collins, CO, United States 12-04-12
    ward Fort Collins, CO, United States 12-04-12

    Tokie Dog

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very telling summary."
    If you could sum up Drift in three words, what would they be?

    thought provoking, interesting


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning of things I didn't know.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me think and want to research more about some of the topics.


    Any additional comments?

    Good review of the topics. Gives insight to things possibly unknown or thought about. It is one perspective.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. S. White Midwest USA 11-22-12
    J. S. White Midwest USA 11-22-12 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Preaching to the Choir, but fun anyway."

    Ms. Maddow does an admirable job narrating her book, but you can tell she's not a professional at this particular art. Didn't interfere with the book, however.

    There's a lot of interesting information, and a lot of conclusions drawn. I've not found any of the information to be false - and some I checked on immediately, as I wasn't aware of it.

    While I agree with many of her conclusions, they're often not inescapable or inarguable, so be careful in building your own views. If, however, like me, you're an informed liberal, you'll find much of her work here interesting and compelling. She's not going to convert many people with this, though; it's mostly by a liberal for liberals - but, of course, reality has a well known liberal bias... :D

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Whitby, ON, Canada 10-30-12
    Douglas Whitby, ON, Canada 10-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drift to be better than the print version?

    Love that Rachel does her own narrative.. Great history of the US military.


    What other book might you compare Drift to and why?

    First military history I've read.


    Have you listened to any of Rachel Maddow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The squarndering of American might.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.