Drift by Rachel Maddow

48%

16 Critic Reviews

Maddow’s incisive look at the follies of militarism needs a deeper understanding of why America has so often embraced it.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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

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. 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 Reagan's radical presidency, 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. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. 
   Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.

 

About Rachel Maddow

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Rachel Maddow has hosted the Emmy Award-winning Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC since 2008. Before that, she was at Air America Radio for the duration of that underappreciated enterprise. She has a doctorate in politics from Oxford and a bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford. She lives in rural western Massachusetts and New York City with her partner, artist Susan Mikula, and an enormous dog.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Crown. 290 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Current Affairs, Education & Reference, Romance. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 22 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Drift
All: 16 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 10

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

In her hard-hitting debut, popular MSNBC host Maddow examines how the country has lost control of its national-security policy.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Scott Shane on Apr 13 2012

Her narrative is so beguiling that a reader may overlook its weaknesses.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 28 2012

Her book does exactly that, in a crisp, sometimes too-smart-alecky style.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 20 2012

Maddow’s incisive look at the follies of militarism needs a deeper understanding of why America has so often embraced it.

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Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Gregory McNamee on Mar 26 2012

A stalwart critic of things as they are, Maddow does us all a service by reminding us of the true costs of American war making.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by David Horsey on Apr 16 2012

And, far from being a left-wing screed, it presents a sharply argued commentary that many conservatives could buy into.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Samantha Nelson on Apr 09 2012

The real problem with Drift is that it spends its 252 pages drifting through too many topics.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Catherine Lutz on Apr 22 2012

While Maddow critiques the increased use of contractors, her analysis gives the war profiteers too little credit for this metastasizing mess.

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Slate

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Bazelon on Mar 31 2012

Maybe Maddow didn’t feel she could write an Obama chapter in the middle of his first term, but she lets him off in a way that could read as partisan.

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PopMatters

Below average
Reviewed by Chris Barsanti on Apr 17 2012

By ignoring much of the growth of the military establishment in the ‘50s and ‘60s, she makes the current state of affairs appear to be the work of a few misguided presidents, not the logical end result of decades’ worth of societal militarization.

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After Ellen

Excellent
Reviewed by Heather Hogan on Apr 10 2012

Drift is densely packed with years of research and unapologetic political wonk but. . .Maddow tempers the academia with whimsical anecdotes and spit-taking humor.

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The American Prospect

Below average
Reviewed by Heather Hurlburt on Apr 10 2012

It’s very well to document how various administrations detached the use of military force from established constitutional procedures, and how Congress grew more and more quiescent over time. . . but it isn’t, actually, sufficient.

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The Nine Ways of Knowing

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Lipkis on Apr 26 2012

...as to be expected from Rachel Maddow this is done in a clever and witty way making the book not just entertaining but easily accessible. As the school year comes to a close, Drift makes for an excellent addition to your summer reading list.

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Waging NonViolence

Below average
Reviewed by Frida Berrigan on Apr 13 2012

And this is where it gets a little tricky, because Maddow is at pains to say that this is not anyone’s fault.

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94.7The Wave

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Dudley

I especially liked the section on how the military has marketed itself.

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My FDL (Fire Dog Lake)

Below average
Reviewed by David Swanson on Apr 03 2012

But much is missing from the book. And some of what is there is misleading.

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Reader Rating for Drift
88%

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Andrew Kukulski 11 May 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

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Budd Bailey 11 Aug 2014

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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