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
Yes. I listended to it straight through between work and sleep!
I worked munitions operations in the Strategic Air Command at a B-52 base. I have toured the Nevada Test Site, Chanute Aerpsoace Museum (with the missile maintenance training silos) and Titan II Missile Museum . I had experienced the day-to-day activitiy but I did not know much about the accidents, politics or contractor. I have a much better understanding of the big picture.
The enlisted airmen!
The bookcover is even the right color. Well done.
I already have. It is a very well written book that was very informative; aka very scary.
The climax of the main story that ran through the entire book. I don't want to ruin it for anyone so I'll leave it at that.
This book was written for his narration. Well, at least it seemed that way. Narration is such a huge part of non-fiction works for me and he hit it out of the park.
I can't write what I'm thinking because you can't show it.
If you like historical non-fiction and fairly technical books this book is for you. I will be listening to this one again for sure.
It should bevrequired reading to obtain your drivers license, as its that important to every American, as I am convinced after listening to it twice, these scientists and military officers, are beyond incompetent, and may be responsible for over half of the cancer deaths world wide. Hey Folks, We have lost nuclear weapons out there!!!!!!!!!
The USAF men that gave up their lives in a silo, out in the Plains.
I believe Scott understands the extreme danger we are in right now, and his material was read and researched to convey the seriousness of the material in this book.
I have never read a book in which I said to myself, "What!" So many times, as it was mind jarring material.
Why does an American have to read a book to find this out? The Press are not doing their jobs.
Avid marathoner and hi tech market analyst. Lover of Ken Follett, Christopher Moore, Timothy Zahn and any book that pulls me in.
Wow, fantastic account of our nuclear weapons program to date. But scary as can be in conveying how close we have come to total disaster so many times. The author does a fantastic job of telling the history of the program, the politics behind it and how congress, the culture of the times and budget battles have led us to where we are today. Really fantastic read that I recommend to anyone and everyone.
No. It is just the version that I had time to "read".
This is a really well written and compelling story about one of the most important, but under-appreciated issues of our time. By setting the whole story against the back drop of the Damascus Accident, Schlosser turns the story of command and control of nuclear weapons into a real page turner! I've spent most of my life involved in one way or another with these issues, and I believe that Schlosser nails it, and points to the flaws that persist to this day, and threaten our very existence. Highly recommended.
How can anyone trust our government to tell the truth or to manage affairs competently after listening this? It's just a matter of time before we also have "the illusion of health care" and "the illusion of education."
My only problem was the jumping around. I'm sure it works in the print book, but it got a little confusing in an audiobook. However, Scott Brick did his usual fabulous job.
Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!
I won't listen to it again. But I have bought the Kindle version so that I can study parts of it in more detail.
It was a fascinating way of structuring the story, integrating "accident" chapters with "history" chapters. Took some getting used to, but it was an effective way to cover an enormous amount of material without getting bored.
A very solid performance through the whole book. No odd changes in voice or silly pronunciation problems that I've seen crop up in many books.
"Just Because You Were Lucky Doesn't Mean You Were Smart."
The story of the history of nuclear weapons is still very relevant today, albeit not in a Cold War context. But it's also very relevant in terms of how we should think about a range of highly complex technologies going forward. They may not have the potential to instantly level a city, but they pose risks that need to be thought about. This story makes that abundantly clear!
One of the most interesting non-fiction audiobooks I've listened to thus far... Fast paced and never dull.
We really lost, burnt, destroyed and screwed up THAT MANY nuclear warheads? Only by the grace of God did we not blow ourselves up by accident.
The narrator was great. It felt like it was both an interesting overview of the the history of Command and Control as well as a compelling story.
A truly compelling audiobook.
History not much known.
Entire book was a real spellbinding story
One setting book
If u like history and suspense get this audio book.
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