Command and Control

Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
Author(s): Eric Schlosser
Awards:2013-New York Times Bestseller
Original Publish Date: Sep 24, 2013
eAudio - unabridged
Product Number: Z100026069
Released: Sep 24, 2013
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780307702517
Narrator/s: Scott Brick
Publisher: Books on Tape
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Mother Jones "Easily the most unsettling work of nonfiction I've ever read...?he book is beyond relevant. It's critical reading in a nation with thousands of nukes still on hair-trigger alert." Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. 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? 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. 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 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, 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 men 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. New York Times Book Review "Disquieting but riveting fascinating Schlosser's readers (and he deserves a great many) will be struck by how frequently the people he cites attribute the absence of accidental explosions and nuclear war to divine intervention or sheer luck rather than to human wisdom and skill. Whatever was responsible, we will clearly need many more of it in the years to come." Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW) "A chilling, concise history of America's precarious nuclear arsenal...?ivid and unsettling."

All formats/editions

Author(s): Eric Schlosser
Product Number EB00385570
Released: Jun 05, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: #9781101638668

Professional reviews

"Scott Brick excels at narrating passages that feel like theyÕre from a thriller, and this account of the Cold War nuclear program has plenty of those. In 1980, at a launch complex in Arkansas, a young airman dropped a wrench socket that pierced the fuel tank of a Titan II missile with a nuclear warhead. This frightening incident is the narrative thread that runs throughout this audiobook. BrickÕs dramatic tone emphasizes just how close we came to accidental Armageddon on many occasions, though it works less well with the more mundane reportage. Eric SchlosserÕs research and storytelling skills are remarkable, though the listener may find it difficult to remember the huge cast of characters in this tragic story. D.B. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"

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