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Command and Control Audiobook

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

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Publisher's Summary

A myth-shattering exposé of America's nuclear weapons.

Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved - and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. While the harms of global warming increasingly dominate the news, the equally dangerous yet more immediate threat of nuclear weapons has been largely forgotten.

Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than 50 years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policy makers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can't be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.

Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with people who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America's nuclear age.

©2013 Eric Schlosser (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    "Pop!!"

    Need to know about the truth and nuclear proliferation from Los Alamos to Nagasaki to Hiroshima to Bay of Pigs to subs, silos and B-52s. ALL the Presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SquantoTerror 11-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved it... Narration just meh"

    I thought the book was excellent but the Narrator seemed awkward narrating this title. I would recommend this title to anyone that has interest in the Cold War arms race. Very informative and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-01-16
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    "inriguing. exciting. scary."

    If you're interested in nuclear history and a little nuclear present and future, then this is a must read. However, the most captivating aspect of this book is the personal experiences of the people affected by the nuclear arms race. Read and be educated and moved!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Riverside, CA, USA 10-16-16
    John Riverside, CA, USA 10-16-16
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    "Let's get rid of missiles. Subs and B052s keep"
    Where does Command and Control rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Missiles are dangerous and the upper command was unable to understand the danger.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The incompetence of the military.


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

    x


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

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    Any additional comments?

    x

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Nickelson 10-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Investigative Piece!"

    Schlosser provides a deep and definitive dive into the U.S.'s history of nuclear weapons. Definitely recommend for anyone interested in that area!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Reed Massachusetts USA 10-13-16
    T. Reed Massachusetts USA 10-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "sobering. Educational. Illuminating."

    Scott Brick did a great job reading this book. It is long, butt very much worth the time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lynnwood, WA 10-11-16
    Amazon Customer Lynnwood, WA 10-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "A masterful performance"

    Scott Brick brings this wide scoped book about the nuclear weapon accident in Arkansas and the history of military command and control of nuclear weapons to life. It's a subject that could be dry, but instead it proceeds almost as a techno thriller, and hearing Scott Brick read it brings the subject and characters to life, just as they are when he reads a Jack Ryan novel.

    Definitely worth listening to. Though I'm now convinced the world didn't end only out of shear luck our divine grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Altadena, CA, United States 09-28-16
    Eric Altadena, CA, United States 09-28-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Impressive Work"
    What did you love best about Command and Control?

    The accident at the Damascus Titan launch site made a great "vehicle" for reviewing the scope of American nuclear policy and the technical evolution of atomic and thermonuclear weapons.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Schlosser's accounts of the numerous accidents with nuclear weapons was thrilling, and the inspiring efforts of several civil servants to increase the level of safety of existing thermonuclear weapons was compelling stuff too.


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

    I have heard Scott Brick many times at audible, but I believe this has been his best presentation so far. For a topic as potentially distressing as this one, his voice seems to add a bit calm without detracting from or dulling the source text.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Most folks should feel lucky and a little apprehensive after listening to this book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a little long, but it is well worth the time investment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Count B 09-27-16
    Count B 09-27-16 Member Since 2015
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    "THE IDIOCY OF THE ARMY LAID BARE"
    Any additional comments?

    If this is how United States couldn't handle their nuclear weapons, I wonder how other countries are failing to handle their's and how many accidents that they are having. It just seems like the United States just decided to build bombs and without any safety procedures. It is truly shocking. Leaves me wondering what the hell is going on in Putins lawless Russia & their nuclear weapons. This book will shock & surprise, but mostly scare the Bee-Jesus out of you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orweller Family Kalamazoo, MI 09-21-16
    Orweller Family Kalamazoo, MI 09-21-16
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    "Incredible stories and info."

    The stories were amazing. Its truely terrifying to think about the destructive potential of the weapons hidden next door. Its eye opening and might keep readers up at night. I highly recomend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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