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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Ingvar thorleifsson 06-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A good book"

    I found the book to br chilling, precise, informative and ominous.

    A good coverage of a difficult topic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sivan Houston, TX, United States 06-01-15
    Sivan Houston, TX, United States 06-01-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Recommended part of cold war history"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have read/listened to 4 books on the history nuclear power and weapons. My favourite was The Age of Radiance. Second was Command and Control. Third being Dead Hand. The last being American Prometheus.

    I would describe Command and Control as a history of the cold war arms race and the inherent difficulty in managing such a darn dangerous type of weapon. I would recommend this book, along with The Age of Radiance and Dead Hand, to anyone who is interested in this period of political history. Command and Control is told as two stories side by side. The first being the events the lead to the explosion of a nuclear armed rocket in its silo. The second being the mismanagement of nuclear armed weapons. I found the first half of the first unnecessary (missile in silo). The second half of the first story was much more interesting. The second story was great the whole way thru.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Can't wait for the next session!"

    I was blown away (pun intended) by all the close calls the U.S. has had with a nuclear disaster! I completely recommend this good book to anyone. It keeps you on your toes and eager to keep listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Schoppe 04-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good read for an even you never hear about"

    I like the fact that this book told a story about an event that is rarely told. It is also a very detailed account of the history of nuclear weapons the United States as well as the command-and-control authority of the United States government. You never realize how easily a weapon could've been stolen before you read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tsen 04-17-15
    Tsen 04-17-15
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    "Fantastic and terrifying"

    The book was a great mix of narrative tension and historical overview. Both aspects of the book were flawless and I was eagerly listening the whole way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TylerShaw 04-13-15
    TylerShaw 04-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "great book"

    Well told, interesting, and keeps you on your toes. It is told like a fiction novel, but it is all true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AJ 04-05-15
    AJ 04-05-15
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    "Great book, great research"

    After reading this book it is amazing we are still here. In your wildest dreams you never could have imagined that the government and military could be so incompetent when it comes to nuclear weapons. An eye opening must read. What aren't we being told today?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lego Mom 03-16-15
    Lego Mom 03-16-15 Member Since 2016
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    "We're all on borrowed time!"

    Great listen. This is one of the few where I felt like I should listen to it again pretty much right away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    candy maker 01-12-15
    candy maker 01-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Very well done"

    I am 53 years old and my generation did not have to go to war. Too young for Vietnam and too old for the first Iraq Iran war. Although the Cold War was not bloodless, at least we did not destroy each other. This book brought some interesting revelation as to the work my father did as an aeronautical engineer at SAC in the 70s. He died when I was 16, so I couldn't hear the stories from him. it's killing you know how close we came to blowing each other up and how close we still are to thermo nuclear devastation in our world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    J. Hall 11-06-14
    J. Hall 11-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Utterly engaging"
    Where does Command and Control rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranks in the top 5 books I have ever read.


    What other book might you compare Command and Control to and why?

    The Dead Hand, for it's ability to scare you from the page!


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

    The narration is top rate, from deadpan to drama.


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

    I ended each car ride with a new piece of information, usually one that made me thankful I did not know until that day!


    Any additional comments?

    It takes you until the very end to find out what happens to the main players in the Damascus incident, but you will be glad for the ride. The alternation between local story and world perspective kept me interested until the very end, great job by the author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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