• by Rachel Maddow
  • Narrated by Rachel Maddow
  • 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Rachel Maddow is fun and powerful

Where does Drift rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Fans of the Rachel Maddow show will already know her playful nature and her fun way of starting a long story with seemingly unrelated topics that later become paramount to the topic at hand. It is a style that has made me a fan of her show for years and it is all here in full force.

In this book she takes a half step away from the red and blue politics to discuss the military industrial complex and the hold it has over today's leaders. This detailed look at the need for war is made more fun than ever before and always seems relevant to today. I am sure I will be listening to this one over and over and using it in discussions with friends and family because even though I have always thought that war was a bad thing motivated by the need for money this book shows a more powerful motive for war than even I had suspected.

What does Rachel Maddow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Maddow is a very fun and funny woman- I am glad that she read the book and could deliver her material in the playful way that she does on the show. I do not think that any woman could have brought this to life as well as her

If you could give Drift a new subtitle, what would it be?

A modern history of the Military Industrial Complex- and why you should care

Any additional comments?

Many people know Maddow for her role in the polarization in politics and even I have to admit that there are sides and loyalties in the fight that will keep conservatives from reading the book. Be aware though that this is not about the kinds of things that she normally discusses on her show- there is a surprising lack of opinion in the book, which is mostly history. So even if you are a conservative you should find this book fun and enlightening

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- Niall

Half the National Debt?

As expected from Rachel Maddow, DRIFT presents another way of looking at substantive things our country has come to take for granted. The research is superb and presents a fact-based rationale to support her thesis. As Eisenhower said half a century ago, "Beware of the military - industrial complex." Not much has changed since then. Unfortunately, much has become structural.

Many of the book’s factoids are incredible. My biggest eye opener was that $7 trillion of our $15.6 trillion national debt was run up by the nuclear weapon industry. Talk about a concept that has never seen the light of day! That and our dirty bomb explosions around the world are disgusting. Why isn't anyone in government concerned about these and the myriad of other issues she raised?

The beginning and end of DRIFT are clearly exceptional. Some other parts are overcome with too much filler to hold an overall outstanding pace. A little more editing with an eye toward impact per page would have made it one of the best books I've ever read. It's not bad . . . but it's also not perfect.

Performance, on the other hand, is off the charts. Ms. Maddow's obvious understanding of the topic and enjoyment at presenting it are spectacular. It is a truly enjoyable and enlightening presentation.

This book should be read by everyone who is interested in helping America. The “Might Makes Right” mindset goes only so far. What could our country have done with a portion of $7 trillion applied to something else?
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- Dolf

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-27-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio