The Unmooring of American Military Power

Book - 2012
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The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America's dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war.

"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.
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2012.
ISBN: 9780307460981
Characteristics: 275 p. ;,22 cm.


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I think even Rachel fails to correlate the rounds of military base closures in the US, with the increasing redeployment of forces to the bewildering number of overseas bases.

Apr 24, 2017

Very insightful and written well! Dr. Maddow explains the topic extremely with her signature mixture of intellect tinged with smart, tasteful humor.

Dec 01, 2014

Well written, smart book. It's very readable, accurate and engaging that readers might just pay more attention. The book raises sound questions about entrenched militarism in the US, that the founding fathers were so adamantly opposed to, and whether we will become a police state if there are no checks or balances to the growing militarism.

In the latter part of the book, Maddow does a great job pointing out the collapse of our nuclear missile infrastructure. Her stories foreshadow many of the subsequent scandals within the troops manning our nukes.

Nov 30, 2014

I agree with the Publisher Weekly's descriptive phrase of a . . ./// shallow critique \\\. Maddow has a talent for repeating the obvious - - yes, America has been on war footing since WWII. I.e., follow the money. What are the two major exports of America? Debt and munitions. Who makes the money from those exports? The banksters. Maddow is yet another reframer who would have us believe, this all just happened of its own accord. Follow the money . . .

May 31, 2014

Wow. Funny and informative. Also quite scary. This should be required reading for high school seniors and college students.

May 30, 2014

I think this is an excellent book, meticulously researched & written in a way that everyone can understand. I truly love watching Maddow take pot-shots at the latest politician(s) who f**k up and you can definitely hear her voice as you soak up each and every page of Drift. I honestly didn't realize how much danger the world is actually in because our neighbors to the south are stupider and more careless than we ever thought! She has a new book called "Why We Did It", which the library doesn't have yet - but I'll be first in line when the finally do!

gramercygal Mar 22, 2014

Should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of this country!

Feb 15, 2014

This is actually a preposterous book. I'm not disputing any of the factual information Maddow writes of, but she is attacking the status quo, while supporting the status quo. It is simply cognitive dissonance piled on cognitive dissionance. She wants America to remain an empire, while reining in the empire? Such a supporter of the Council of Foreign Relations is Maddow. One day she may wake up, but I doubt it as at heart she is a phoney crat, not the real thing.

nima90 Nov 13, 2013

Interesting read, excellent insight to the cost of maintaining a bloated army and decline of empire.

Aug 31, 2013

Worth reading just for the chapter on the US's ageing nuclear arsenal. It will curl your socks. Although, as one might expect, Maddow points a finger or two in this chapter, primarily she lays out the deplorable state of our nuclear arsenal, physically and morally, and the dangers that won't go away without a lot of work and $. This problem transcends political beliefs.

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