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on June 19, 2017
Rarely do I give five stars. This one earned it. Maddow walks you through history showing how the US has gone from a people distrustful of conflict and war, to one where all the checks and balances have eroded to the point where we now have perpetual war. Drift is compelling, honest, with an unblinking eye toward the choices we have made as a nation.
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on November 13, 2015
Very interesting book about how America went from basically no standing army to a large, expensive military complex that originally required congressional permission to use and eventually became useable by presidential choice for virtually as long as the president wanted: A real study in political gamesmanship that has found a way around the constitutional protections our forefathers wanted to prevent wars like Iraq.
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on September 15, 2017
Once again, Rachel Maddow presents facts and anecdotes clearly, calmly, and sometimes humorously. She tells sixty years of history and shows it as the result of human decisions. She winds up with a problem, and proposes a solution. Her solution calls for a lot of responsibility on our part. God luck to us.

This is a good book for citizens, for young adults, for people who like history, and for people who like Rachel.

Why five stars? Good topic, good analysis, good writing, good grammar, good spelling, good thinking, good questions, good answers, good timeliness.
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on November 9, 2013
Maddow's book is a great review of American military history, politics, strategy and engagement over the last half century. The sweeping review of how the military's role has changed over time and how various administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have used the power of the military for geopolitical purposes is engaging and thought provoking. Perhaps the most unsettling of all is Maddow's chapter on the disintegrating state of America's nuclear arsenal. In it, she reveals the perilous status of our weapons and the internal military budget competition for conventional force funding which led to much of the disrepair.

Her analysis of what could and should be done to help ensure our military's future sustainability is a thoughtful and politically challenging call to arms. For those who might be inclined to think of Maddow as a far left wing critic of Republican policies and initiatives, she is. But she is also highly critical of the Democratic administration's continued use of drone strikes without adequate Congressional oversight and accountability.

I highly recommend this book as a starting point for a great discussion about the current and future role of the US military, as well as the starting point for some serious thinking about the relationship between the military and civilian life.
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on June 25, 2012
I don't watch cable news. Especially MSNBC or FOX. Both are, in my opinion, just plain awful. Amidst the all the casual accusations of racism, political correctness, and Obama worship on the former network, and just plain political and religious wing-nuttery on the latter, I feel it best to stay far far away. Yet this book from Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC host, is actually quite good. I admittedly lean quite far to the left, especially on issues of national defense, so I can't say this argument was very new to me. Yet it was prevented with excellent documentation, entertaining anecdotes that bring to mind Dr. Strangelove, and constructive suggestion for reform. Our post war military apparatus is indeed drifting without any compass whatsoever, and if this book can awaken the citizenry to any extent it will be of great benefit both for our national security and that of the world. You should read it!
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on February 9, 2013
Disturbing and persuasive exploration of the evolution of the growth of the military, particularly related to the constitutional separation of powers and the divorcing of major decisions about military budget/projects/wars from the political process. I'd never thought about a lot of these developments in this detail before, but subcontracting so many defense functions and shifting so much of the decision-making to the executive branch does mean that the average American doesn't "feel" it when the country is at war. People aren't as affected by it, which is the opposite of what the founders wrote into the Constitution... I want to ask why we're not talking about this more, but that's also the answer.
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on May 11, 2017
Excellent book that discusses the issues in which American military power has been used in ways that are unconstitutional and are in many cases are not subject to the checks and balances that they require.Rachel Maddow is an entertaining writer and an excellent historian.
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on August 18, 2017
Rachel Maddow is an amazing teller of tales, putting together puzzles by first finding the pieces. Sometimes she finds pieces from a different puzzle, but she keeps us informed, nonetheless. In DRIFT! she has traced how we have expanded our military might almost without noticing. I wish that her conclusions were untrue, or at least more optimistic, but I am afraid she is right about how our options for peaceful solutions are shrinking.
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on September 6, 2013
There are quite a few items that elicit "I didn't know that!". How do we know for sure that Ms. Maddow "knows that"? She is convincing. Most interesting reading. Her solutions are quite believable but given the objectives of those in the executive and legislative branches, there isn't a snowball's chance in h... of getting anything accomplished. The book is entertaining and well written. Just watch your blood pressure - try not to think about what you are paying for with your tax dollars. I stopped at four stars since she reminds me of how our government works.
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on August 4, 2017
This book gave me some great insights in the relationship itself. Military conflicts became regular thing in our life. Even if it does not impacted us (non-solider) because it is so usual. Lastly, the part about nukes scare out of me when they mentioned that they lose 11 nukes in total ever since. Like whattt?!?! I only knew about one...
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