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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Rachel Maddow

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7744711,926 (4.15)39
Member:bblum
Title:Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Authors:Rachel Maddow
Info:Crown (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Nuclear, history, politics, audio

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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Smart and pithy without being dry or sarcastic. ( )
1 vote CatherineJay | Dec 30, 2015 |
I ended up listening to the audio version of this book -- it's read by Maddow herself! What a treat. Wish I could think of something more original to say about her writing than "brilliant" and "thought-provoking." ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
This book was beautitular written. It's a good portrayal of U.S. military intervention s abroad. ( )
  scrl | May 19, 2015 |
I'll admit that I didn't really understand the title of this book until the quote from Admiral Michael Mullen at the beginning of the epilogue. That the Drifting is the people of the US from our military and those who serve in it, and I agree with Maddow, that's a scary thing.

Maddow throws a lot of facts, stories, and information at the reader in a reasonably sized book. From where the drifting apart started after Vietnam to the Reagan political 'family tree' (Cheny, Bush I and II, amongst others) and how they've screwed over this country (and a pretty spineless Congress) not to mention us the people who are so easily distracted by the bread and circuses.

The middle of the book is about recent history of Presidents blinking when they should have stared down the enemy, and staring down the enemy when they should have blinked and talk some first.

And Maddow did point out that both Republicans and Democrats have contributed to the military drifting away from the people. It wasn't just an anti-Republican book at all.

It's a sad, sad commentary on how we've become an imperial democracy, we've become more interested (or un-interested) in war than before. And although Maddow never says it in the book, after reading it I think we've come very close to becoming Rome, and that little experiment way back when didn't end well at all. ( )
  DanieXJ | Oct 22, 2014 |
I just powered through this; extremely readable, highly witty, and highly intellgent and all on a subject I'm not sure I would have found on my own. The arguments about how we unmoored ourselves from a civilian army to a permanent national secuirty state is terrifying but compelling and also the idea that we can change this back again. Great read.
1 vote amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
War, in Maddow's world, is not in need of abolition so much as proper execution, which sometimes means more massive and less hesitant execution. LBJ "tried to fight a war on the cheap," Maddow quotes a member of Johnson's administration as recalling. On the other hand, when Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf propose five or six aircraft carriers for the First War on Iraq, Maddow recounts that this "would leave naval power dangerously thin in the rest of the world." Dangerous for whom?
added by Lunar | editWar is a Crime, David Swanson (Apr 3, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, becasue it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debt and taxes; and armies and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Those truths are well established. They are read in every page which records the progession from a less arbitrary to a more arbitrary government, or the transitions from a popular governmet to an aristocracy or monarchy.

-James Madison, "Political Observations," April 20, 1795
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To former vice president Dick Cheney.  Oh, please let me interview you.
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In the little town where I live in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, we now have a "Public Safety Complex" around the corner from what used to be our hokey, Andy Griffith-esque fire station.
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Maddow shows how deeply militarized our culture has become--how the role of the national security sector has shape-shifted and grown over the past century to the point of being financially unsustainable and confused in mission.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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