Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Command and Control, a ground-breaking account of the management of nuclear weapons from Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation. Read by the award-winning narrator Scott Brick.
A ground-breaking 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? Schlosser reveals that this question has never been resolved, and while other headlines dominate the news, nuclear weapons still pose a grave risk to mankind.
Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a missile silo in rural Arkansas, where a single crew struggled to prevent the explosion of the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States, with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policymakers, 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 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 men who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes listeners into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. It reveals how even the most brilliant of minds can offer us only the illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism.
©2013 Eric Schlosser (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
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"Gripping and insightful"
Interweaving the long and evolving history of nuclear weapons with the dramatic events that took place over a single day in rural Arkansas in a chapter by chapter fashion. Also the narrators voice was perfect for the material.
Jeff Kennedy (although a real person rather than a character).
I would have liked to hear the narrator quote 'Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds'. I was surprised the author didn't include this quote. Without a doubt though, this is an excellent listen. It covers many angles including the history, science and politics surrounding nuclear weapons and command and control systems. Incredibly insightful and revealing - I was shocked by so much of it. I would highly recommend this book.
"excellent collection of facts"
Excellent introduction to the world of nuclear weapons and the cold war, mixing fact with human interest stories of those involved. It covers the main problems in C3 as related to the US during the Cold War which on their own make for a great listen. the author also shows how LeMay and SAC preferred a WW2 approach during the Cold War; even when this put the public in danger.
Good voice, as the American accent adds to the narrative
No, needs to be listened to in sections
"Insightful and engrossing"
Very engrossing and adds character to the storytelling.
The juxtaposition between the development and final construction of the first A-Bomb.
The story covers areas that are usually overlooked or ignored, which in itself creates a gripping listen from start to finish.
"So many possibilities to blow us out of the sky"
The book is a comprehensive account of the nuclear arms race and subsequent disarmament. It includes chilling accounts of accidents, mistakes, misshapes that let us know how close we all came to being obliterated.
The book is a bit long, but a good and easy to follow listen.
I have read this and heard it and enjoyed both equally
The thread of the story kept me gripped throughout but it did go through the history well
A great book about an event I had no idea had happened. Very well told.
a long and worthwhile listen that gives an insight to a scary world and the bravery of those who helped avoid the war to end all wars.
The best non-fiction I've listened to.
Scott Brick's performance is excellent: engaging, dry, amusing. I particularly enjoyed listening to his reading of Command and Control.
It's an extremely long book to listen to in one sitting! However, I spent many evenings listening to 'just one more chapter' before bed.
I really enjoyed this book: the weaving of the stories of one disaster, and the development of nuclear weaponry are fascinating, well-paced and extremely well written.
It's frankly incredible that we have never suffered a peacetime military nuclear disaster. I was fascinated to learn about the arms build up after 1945 and the terrifying policies of America and Russia.
The author goes into great detail to tell the history of nuclear weapons development and the many accidents that nearly caused catastrophe. If you like cold war history then you'll enjoy this one. Well worth listening to.
"Who needs thrillers?"
I only bought this book because it was on offer. That's to say, I started it without having any particular interest in nuclear weapons -- but that's not how I felt by the time I finished it.
The history of nuclear weapons is interwoven with the account of one particular mishap. The mishap is a gripping story (better than any thriller I've read recently), made all the better by Schlosser's sensitivity to the interplay of personalities. Moreover, the moment-by-moment account of the near disaster gives shape, relevance and a human dimension to the fascinating history.
It certainly isn't a book to read, if you're looking for peace of mind. (By the time I finished, it was all I could do not to start digging myself a bunker.) But, if you enjoy lessons in history and politics delivered with the ease and good humour of writers like Bill Bryson, then I'd highly recommend it.
"Compelling listen with the perfect narrator"
Engrossing all the way through, the insight into the defence priorities and laisse faire attitudes regarding the risk of nuclear weapons is at times unfathomable. Scott Bricks narration is the perfect partner to the book
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