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Drift Audiobook

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

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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

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  •  
    Eulas Harris, NY, United States 04-30-12
    Eulas Harris, NY, United States 04-30-12
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    "As always clear and concise in her statements"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drift to be better than the print version?

    Certainly more convenient however having not read the print version I cannot compare.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The extent that those in power will go to in order to bend or even ignore the limitations on their power set down by the framers' of the Constitution.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No favorite scene


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was enlightened by the entire book and feel strongly that everyone who cares about the way our government functions should read this book; political party notwithstanding.


    Any additional comments?

    Rachel always provides fair clear, well researched and fact checked information and I certainly was not disappointed in her endeavor to do so in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been recommending it to my friends and aquaintances'.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Aloha, OR, United States 04-25-12
    Russell Aloha, OR, United States 04-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great run through presidential military decisions."

    I love Rachel Maddow and her very original points of view. This book is the best yet. In this book she explains the connection between successful wars like WWI and WWII, and the more recent botched wars like vietnam and Iraq.

    The stories in this book are told with amazing detail. So intrigued, I listened to the entire book in 2 days and again the next week. Rachel's reading of the book is the best part, great performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Schooler Los Angeles, CA USA 04-24-12
    Ron Schooler Los Angeles, CA USA 04-24-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Eisenhower Was Right"
    Would you listen to Drift again? Why?

    I would listen again to Drift because a lot of facts fly by rapidly.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rachel Maddow again?

    Rachel Maddow is a a careful and thoughtful writer. Anything that is of the quality of Drift would be in my wishlist.


    What does Rachel Maddow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    While her personality is somewhat muted, it felt very good to hear it in her own voice.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The existence of the Reserve Corps has played an important part in the public's support of a military action.


    Any additional comments?

    The thesis of the book should be alarming to us all. The fact that we have gone from a nation opposed (generally) to military adventurism to a country that is constantly involved in the use of the military to achieve foreign policy objectives is, ironically, a threat to our security. Rachel Maddow effectively argues this point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-12
    Christine Charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Rachel does not disappoint!"
    Would you listen to Drift again? Why?

    Only Rachel Maddow could make a retelling of the Iran/Contra scandal sound charming.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    As viewers of her show on MSNBC have come to expect, her arguments are intelligent, insightful, well thought out and presented.


    What about Rachel Maddow’s performance did you like?

    Even when the subject matter turns to events that might be less than gripping, Rachel's warmth, wit and passion for her argument make for a very enjoyable listen.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I particularly liked how she used excerpts from presidential memoirs to infer the attitudes of our leaders during these conflicts.


    Any additional comments?

    Some authors just ought to be heard because their personality is so engaging in a way that the words alone just can't convey. David Sedaris comes to mind. I'd add Rachel Maddow to that list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janise Glen Burnie, MD, United States 04-22-12
    Janise Glen Burnie, MD, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2011

    Amazon shopper

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    "Rachel is a star!!!"

    Rachel Maddow is pure genius. As some have said, she is the Walter Cronkite of our time. She's so thorough in her research and manages to make issues that I never cared about before not just intriguing but downright fascinating. I'm ashamed to say I don't really know my political history very well so this was a huge lesson for me. And nobody does it better than Rachel. This is why I watch her show because though she clearly has a point of view (and I don't necessarily always agree with her), she is honest and fair and always works to ensure her facts are in order. I loved this book!! I'm going to listen to it a second time. I'm sure I missed some stuff. And I'm glad she narrated it herself. She is just a joy to listen to. Go Rachel!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark canon city, CO, United States 04-02-12
    mark canon city, CO, United States 04-02-12
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    "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

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    "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
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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

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