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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
by Rachel Maddow

Published: 2012-03-27
Hardcover : 288 pages
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"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 modern national security state, with its tens of thousands of "privateers"; its bloated Department of Homeland Secu...
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Introduction

"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 modern 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.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

The houbara bustard is not a particularly large or regal bird. It looks a little like what you might get if you bred a common pheasant with an ostrich—like a miniature ostrich with a shorter neck and legs, or maybe a pheasant on steroids, with a stretched neck, sprinter’s legs, and a much more impressive wing­span. But the little fella has recently provided crucial assistance in making America’s war in Afghanistan (and its spillover in Pakistan) the longest-running military hot show in our nation’s history. ... view entire excerpt...

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Praise for the book:

"In her hard-hitting debut, popular MSNBC host Maddow examines how the country has lost control of its national-security policy...[Written with] humor and verve."

--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Scathing...The author presents sharp, well-supported analyses...spicing them with a caustic wit...Incisive."

--Publishers Weekly

"An insightful look at the cost of military vigilance to ideals of democracy."

--Booklist (starred)

“Rachel Maddow's Drift is a long overdue and provocative examination of the abuses, excesses and just plain foolish elements in our national security systems. These are issues that deserve our attention.

--TOM BROKAW, NBC News Special Correspondent and best-selling author of The Greatest Generation

“Drift never makes the case that war might be necessary. America would be weakened dramatically if we had underreacted to 9/11. However, Rachel Maddow makes valid arguments that our country has been drifting towards questionable wars, draining our resources, without sufficient input and time. People who like Rachel will love the book. People who don’t will get angry, but aggressive debate is good for America. Drift is a book worth reading.”

--ROGER AILES, Chairman and CEO, FOX News

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Member Reviews

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  "Our Drifting public policy regarding war and the military."by JDPPAP (see profile) 08/15/12

Rachel Maddow does a great job having researched and explaining the actions, comments and conflicts the US has been involved in recent years. This book is an eye opener as to how we squander our public... (read more)

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