Author: Rachel Maddow
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review By: Shana
A whirlwind tour through the last 60-ish years of American military power. Maddow also gives the reader a necessary grounding in the founding fathers, how they viewed war with wariness, and how the Constitution reflected this, before decisively laying out how America at war has morphed since the founding, and not for the better. Most likely to appeal to those who are generally in line with Maddow's political views, but even for others, she makes her points well and some of the conclusions should (rationally) be bipartisan.
The strength of the book is Maddow's fast-paced and pithy delivery, her use of many primary and secondary sources, and the highlighting of the worst weaknesses of how we currently engage in war (largely hidden from the public, without the nation really feeling it, with ever-increasing budgets that cannot be second guessed without accusations of being unpatriotic).
The weakness of the book dovetails with one of its strengths – the pithiness. Sometimes it is a bit too glib and a bit too sarcastic, in such a way that will grate on those who are further away from Maddow ideologically. This can be a disservice as it could make some very good information and some convincing points, easier to ignore. All in all though, informative and worth the time.