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Command and Control Audiobook

Command and Control

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


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  • S. Hodge
    UK
    11/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping and insightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Command and Control the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

    Jeff Kennedy (although a real person rather than a character).


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
    3/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent collection of facts"
    If you could sum up Command and Control in three words, what would they be?


    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.


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

    Good voice, as the American accent adds to the narrative


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, needs to be listened to in sections


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Kevin Pfister
    UK
    3/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and engrossing"
    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Very engrossing and adds character to the storytelling.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The juxtaposition between the development and final construction of the first A-Bomb.


    Any additional comments?

    The story covers areas that are usually overlooked or ignored, which in itself creates a gripping listen from start to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jose Elan
    Bolton, UK.
    4/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What is the Command and Control? It's here."
    What made the experience of listening to Command and Control the most enjoyable?

    The book is well researched, no doubt. I'm not sure I like the 'device' of focusing on one disaster as a story to be interspersed with the actually history of what I was interested in.It didn't take anything away from the book other than possibly not being necessary.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    General Lemay - what a guy! General at 34, sorted strategic air commnad - made himself lead bomber in the most dangerous missions.


    Did Scott Brick do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    Average.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would like to have, the book is superb.


    Any additional comments?

    I found Scott Brick to be almost doing a bad impression of Adam West. I'm from the UK but very often I was totally aware he was acting - it rang false and took me out of the book. It was very consistent though, he wasn't all over the place, maybe if you are American it rings right in your ears and I'm just used to movie accents and that explains it. Fair enough - this history couldn't be more American!If you like the subject, and like me you get more time to listen than to read I'd fully recommend the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Dixon
    London
    3/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Essential for anybody with an interest in the cold war"

    In effect a history of the atomic bomb from its invention during WWII to the end of the cold war. Well structured, alternating between a storytelling narrative around the 'Damascus incident' and broader historical and political context of the h-bomb through the decades. Very enjoyable and at times eye-opening. Illustrates the collective madness of the post war arms race and with a journalist's eye for detail and human intrigue, and lots of first-hand accounts. This is no dry academic book. I would say the author rather labours the point on the potential for an accidental nuclear detonation when in fact the many (many) near misses he lists begin to undermine his argument by the final third of the book. Also heavily biased towards the US, with Soviet side mentioned only occasionally. Nevertheless, enjoyed it thoroughly. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jack Padley
    10/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read for students or curious bystanders"

    A highly comprehensive view on American nuclear policy, and the security situation that transpired during the Cold War. I found it approachable, in depth and thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boobie
    UK
    8/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Detailed and Excellent"

    Very very good account of the laxity regarding nuclear weapons safety.

    The author mixes an account of the history of nuclear weapons control with detail of a specific accident with a nuclear missile.

    I found the content engaging and thought - provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drew
    6/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating insight on nuclear weapons"

    Recommended to anyone with technology interest. Audiobook is well read. Thoroughly enjoyed. Story of nuclear weapons development, their politics, safety, command and control intertwined with account of the Damascus incident.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Maines
    3/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Frightening"

    An interesting read that will leave you feeling that if the multiverse exists there's a hell of a lot of nuked Earths.

    Narration was good and understandable at x2 playback speed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Acapella
    Cornwall, UK
    1/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating and appalling in equal measure"

    Excellent reading of this important and measured yet colourful account of the history of US nuclear weapons and the politics and mishaps surrounding them. At times you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Clearly the author must have had the respect and trust of many military figures of all ranks to have compiled this authoritative yet rivetting account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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