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. Download and start listening now!