Drift, by Rachel Maddow, is about Americas military power, and how it has slowly been becoming unchained from it’s historical roots. It takes a fascinating look at (older) current events, and talks about why they likely should not have happened and how they ultimately ended up happening. A long and unforgiving tug-of-war between the legislative and executive branches of the US political system has been raging for the power over the American military.
The book goes into large detail about how todays wars America is involved in, although lasting a decade or more, no longer have the cultural shock that other wars such as Vietnam and the Korean “conflict” have generated. It’s not necessarily being desensitized by an overabundance of war related media, as some would believe – but largely due to the privatization of war that is responsible for this fact. Checks and balances were put in place historically to ensure that wars weren’t just started willy-nilly, and they’ve slowly been removed and eroded. For example, it used to be impossible to go to war without calling in the National guard and army reserves, which meants uprooting citizens and civilians from their daily life to face an enemy and their bullets – which did not go unnoticed. But in today’s world of private military contractors, reserves that are more solider than civilian (and it’s more shocking to see them at home than at war), and secret unmanned drone programs – it’s easy to see how the American people are losing touch with, and faith with not only their military, but government.
I enjoyed Maddows writing style a persuasive use of rhetoric. She tends to go on powerful rants in text just like she does in person or during interviews. Her writing style largely reminded me of Richard Dawkins, sans all the big fancy words and British accent that plays in my head when reading his words. If you’re at all interested in politics, history, patriotism or military, you’ll probably enjoy Drift as much as, or more than, I did.