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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

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  •  
    glass1748 12-16-16
    glass1748 12-16-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Command and Control"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book to Baby Boomers. It's a shocking expose of what was going on while we were growing up. It's a miracle that we actually lived this long considering the accidents and false alarms involving nuclear arms.
    Parts of the book may come across as dry due to the fact that Schlosser pays attention to details. I appreciated that as I was able to see what he was describing in my mind's eye.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The players were names I recognized and I could identify where I was in my life at the time all this was happening. President Eisenhower's terms in office were given a whole new aspect that was never taught in school. The same can be said for the succeeding presidents up through George W. Bush. One also finds out about the conflicts and decisions that were kept secret from the public.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Scott Brick has the smoothest voice! He is a pleasure to listen to.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a book for the faint of heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick 12-16-16
    Rick 12-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Boom!"

    I really enjoyed the audio book. If you have an interest in the Cold War, the Air Force, or nuclear weapons I think this is a book worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Levings Silver Spring, MD, USA 12-13-16
    Jim Levings Silver Spring, MD, USA 12-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Scariest book I've listened to in a long time"

    After reading this book, I am surprised that we've never had any nuclear accident. The narration of this book is phenomenal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Pop!!"

    Need to know about the truth and nuclear proliferation from Los Alamos to Nagasaki to Hiroshima to Bay of Pigs to subs, silos and B-52s. ALL the Presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SquantoTerror 11-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved it... Narration just meh"

    I thought the book was excellent but the Narrator seemed awkward narrating this title. I would recommend this title to anyone that has interest in the Cold War arms race. Very informative and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-01-16
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    "inriguing. exciting. scary."

    If you're interested in nuclear history and a little nuclear present and future, then this is a must read. However, the most captivating aspect of this book is the personal experiences of the people affected by the nuclear arms race. Read and be educated and moved!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Riverside, CA, USA 10-16-16
    John Riverside, CA, USA 10-16-16
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    "Let's get rid of missiles. Subs and B052s keep"
    Where does Command and Control rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Missiles are dangerous and the upper command was unable to understand the danger.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The incompetence of the military.


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

    x


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

    x


    Any additional comments?

    x

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Nickelson 10-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Investigative Piece!"

    Schlosser provides a deep and definitive dive into the U.S.'s history of nuclear weapons. Definitely recommend for anyone interested in that area!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Reed Massachusetts USA 10-13-16
    T. Reed Massachusetts USA 10-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "sobering. Educational. Illuminating."

    Scott Brick did a great job reading this book. It is long, butt very much worth the time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lynnwood, WA 10-11-16
    Amazon Customer Lynnwood, WA 10-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "A masterful performance"

    Scott Brick brings this wide scoped book about the nuclear weapon accident in Arkansas and the history of military command and control of nuclear weapons to life. It's a subject that could be dry, but instead it proceeds almost as a techno thriller, and hearing Scott Brick read it brings the subject and characters to life, just as they are when he reads a Jack Ryan novel.

    Definitely worth listening to. Though I'm now convinced the world didn't end only out of shear luck our divine grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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