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
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.
P J Keating
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17th Century Heretic
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.
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.
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