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
Though it was getting long toward the end, it was as long as it needed to be and gave great insight into the great difficulty in managing the safety and use of nuclear weapons without any clear agenda, which is refreshing. well written and well read.
Narrator did a good job. The audio book contained many topics related to nuclear weapons that most people probably never knew about. I was not disappointed as I am now more informed for listening.
A complete data rich record of the history of nuclear weapons and the scientists, soldiers, and politicians who've made and managed them over the 50+ years of their lifetime.
after listening to this story I went on Google maps earth view to see if I could randomly find missile silos. I found many of them in Wyoming even an old Titan site.
This mixes the well told detailed story of a nuclear missile accident and all the people involved with the history of nuclear weapons in the US. It opened my eyes to much more of what was going on, and what might have or might yet happen. Truly enlightening and at times terrifying.
if you have any interest in the Cold War, nuclear weapons security, safety, are either for or against their proliferation, this is an absolutely candid and is neutrally balanced book as I have found on the topic. I would note that occasionally the flashbacks to history will stretch various nuclear accident stories' recountings a bit long, but overall, this book covers everything from the minutiae to the strategic. If you have any remote interest in the politics, the science, the implications, the ethics, the statistics, the probabilities, and the future... has influenced by nuclear weapons, the Cold War, and life afterward... This book becomes a must read... I would also add that the narrator does a great job! Very often books in this format live and die by good narration, and this one is done exceedingly well.
When I bought this I was looking for something a bit more editorial. I wasn't a big fan of how narrative was used to make the point. Not that it was a bad read, it's just that for me if I wanted narrative I would have picked an actual narrative.
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