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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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  •  
    MC 05-13-15
    MC 05-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant Book, Superbly Read by Author"
    Where does Drift rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If you are interested in American foreign policy since WWII, you reallyshould read this book or better yet listen to it. Maddow was literally and figuratively born to read this book and it is as engaging as it is informative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Maddow's stock in trade is context and connections and she demonstrates how and why war-making has been divorced from its Constitutional underpinnings (or she would say "moorings.) She does a great job explaining how it happened, why it happened, when it happened and the implications of it having happened.


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

    There were many laugh out loud moments as she reveals the stupidity and complicit cowardice of those ostensibly in charge of our foreign policy at least insofar as it involves the use of force.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a really great book for anyone interested in American government.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frank 04-27-15
    frank 04-27-15
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    "yessss!!!!!!"

    yes. wow. damn. the future looks rough. luckly though, with these mistakes, a history will be born that future generations can learn from. great book...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 03-08-15
    03-08-15
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    "Inside the rabbit hole with Rachel Maddow"

    Drift makes sense of what I have lived through but did not understand (I am 88). Rachel Maddow puts in order the political decisions, secret deals and creative thinking that have eviscerated 'the greatest power on earth', making it subject to the machinations of industrial giants and self-aggrandizing political leaders. Drift belongs on every desk in Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. And it should be required reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Yates 06-15-17
    S. Yates 06-15-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Engaging and smart, sometimes a bit too glib"
    Any additional comments?

    A whirlwind tour through the last 60-ish years (plus a necessary grounding in the founding fathers, how they viewed war with wariness, and how the Constitution reflected this) and how America at war has morphed, and not for the better. Most likely to appeal to those who are generally in line with Maddow's political views, but even for others, she makes her points well and some of the conclusions should (rationally) be bipartisan. The strength of the book is Maddow's fast-paced and pithy delivery, her use of many primary and secondary sources, and the highlighting of the worst weaknesses of how we currently engage in war (largely hidden from the public, without the nation really feeling it, with ever-increasing budgets that cannot be second guessed without accusations of being unpatriotic). The weakness of the book dovetails with one of its strengths - the pithiness. Sometimes it is a bit too glib and a bit too sarcastic, in such a way that will grate on those who are ideologically further away from Maddow. This can be a disservice as it could make some very good information and some convincing points easier to ignore. All in all, though, informative and worth the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam St Petersburg FL 02-28-17
    Pam St Petersburg FL 02-28-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Not really a Military person but"

    Rachel has written (spoken) in the same delivery style as her shows accustomed delivery. I find it holds my attention on a subject that I know nothing about. The content is balanced across the political spectrum and just points to the nuts and bolts without much judgement. Was an enjoyable listen to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Ashley 02-23-16
    Ashley 02-23-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Maddow is everything I expected her to be!"

    Articulate, intelligent and witty! This book is time well spent. The fact that it is read by the author makes it seem like you are in the room with her having a conversation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    D. Gabriel Honolulu, HI USA 01-25-16
    D. Gabriel Honolulu, HI USA 01-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Very good"

    I've always loved Rachel's show, the book is great, and her performance reading it as fantastic as her news pieces.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    michael 11-21-15
    michael 11-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Awesome"

    Awell written and informative book narrated to perfection. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about US history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Hills Des Moines, IA USA 11-16-15
    Daniel Hills Des Moines, IA USA 11-16-15 Member Since 2017
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    "a real wake-up call"

    Rachel makes a difficult topic, interesting and treats it thoroughly. This is a non non-partisan issue that isn't talked about enough and needs to better understood by anyone that truly cares about the direction our country is headed. It answers the question: How have we come to accept the state of perpetual war? The answers are disturbing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    C. J. Stanley 10-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Military changes"

    Fascinating and scary. Tried to think back to 60's and 70's. Was I really that blind? So eager to believe? Sigh!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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