Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military…

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

by Rachel Maddow

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7154513,174 (4.16)38
Title:Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Authors:Rachel Maddow
Info:Crown (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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 |
Maddow does an excellent job of detailing precisely how, over the last fifty years or so, “war culture” (my term, not hers) has transformed our nation. Her analysis of America at war from Vietnam to the present demonstrates that we have veered very far afield from our founding fathers’ profound belief that going to war should be difficult—it should be unattractive, it should be something we as an entire nation do very unwillingly, it should be the option of last resort—and it should be something that affects every American. Instead, the military has become a highly specialized industry, much of it outsourced to private corporations (most of which line the pockets of Dick Cheney).

Maddow spends almost the entire first half of the book explaining how the Reagan administration was largely responsible for this transformation. Before reading this book, I had very little respect for Reagan as a president, and I now believe that he was a criminal megalomaniac who probably should have been impeached for his role in the Iran-contra affair.

The information here can be somewhat overwhelming at times, and though she does her best to demystify military lingo, it sometimes becomes challenging to comprehend every point she’s making. Overall, however, her argument is powerful. ( )
1 vote jimrgill | Jul 9, 2014 |
Sobering, smart, funny, meticulous, and utterly compelling. Maddow has brilliantly synthesized her own research and other people's in-depth reporting, which she generously and rightly gives full credit to, into a trenchant analysis of American military policy over the past several decades -- specifically, how it has become much easier for the government to send troops into wars and other conflicts without seeking permission or even holding a public debate. Her arguments I personally find very convincing, and even if you don't buy her thesis, at the very least her book should make you think before automatically supporting military expansions and interventions -- which is her whole point. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer, something I never would've said about a work of military history before "Drift" came along. Sequel, anyone? ( )
1 vote bostonian71 | Jun 1, 2014 |
Remarkable. A must read for every American. Fans of Maddow's MSNBC show will be delighted at her use of meticulous research, as well as the same lighthearted tone she exhibits on her show, in what is sure to be the first of many books to come. ( )
  foblove86 | May 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
To former vice president Dick Cheney.  Oh, please let me interview you.
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
271 wanted
1 pay2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.16)
2.5 3
3 23
3.5 5
4 68
4.5 13
5 49

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,233,124 books! | Top bar: Always visible