Command and Control

Command and Control 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 warhe

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 than fifty years It depicts the urgent effort to ensure that nuclear weapons can t be stolen,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 than fifty years It depicts the urgent effort 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 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.

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Command and Control

  1. Eric Schlosser is an award winning American journalist and author known for investigative journalism A number of critics have compared his work to that of Upton Sinclair.Schlosser was born in Manhattan, New York he spent his childhood there and in Los Angeles, California His father, Herbert Schlosser, a former Wall Street lawyer who turned to broadcasting later in his career, eventually became the President of NBC in 1974 Schlosser studied American History at Princeton University and earned a graduate degree in British Imperial History from Oxford.Schlosser lives in California, and is working on a book about the prison system He is married to Shauna Redford, daughter of Robert Redford, and has two children.

240 Reply to “Command and Control”

  1. Dr Strangelove justly remains a true cornerstone of satire in film for many reasons, but a chief among them is the absurdity of its subject matter, and its roots in an uncomfortable truth The sheer destructive potential of nuclear arsenals could be unleashed by an individuals lunacy or accident This book is about the latter.This book has two interwoven narratives the first is about a specific accident at an Arkansas nuclear silo in 1980, but also the history of nuclear accidents and disasters fr [...]

  2. This book is the stuff of nightmares You no doubt assume, for your own peace of mind, that the potentially world ending weapons in the United States nuclear arsenal have always been carefully controlled, guarded and implanted with the best safeguards available That they have been obsessively tracked by the military, and subjected to the strictest controls imaginable That at all times they have been handled with the fear and care that city vaporizing ordinance is due Your assumption is incorrect [...]

  3. I have a fascination with the history of the US atomic weapons program, based not on the macabre destructive power of those weapons, but on the combination of brilliant minds, difficult problems and absolute secrecy So this book scratches an itch of mine.Command and Control is a sobering look at the failures of the Atomic Age accidents, careless errors and bureaucratic mishaps involving devices that could level a city Some of them came very close One accident in particular provides the narrative [...]

  4. This is a book about the many, many times the world has come this close to nuclear armageddon and somehow, Eric Schlosser has managed to make it a really boring one.It s crushed by the weight of its own research I m all for underground silos, but I don t need to know what colour all the walls are painted.Human interest is injected via tiny, CV like biogs Those of the accident victims end with the age of their wife and the number of kids they had presumably there s a formula you can use to work o [...]

  5. This book was an interesting but ultimately slightly boring look into America s nuclear weapons and how close they are to destroying all of us Ben really highly recommended this book, so perhaps my expectations were too high, but I did find the technical descriptions to go on and on just a little too long And though Schlosser is often talking about life and death scenarios, his descriptions are often bloodless, erring on the side of being technically perfect but then ultimately losing a sense of [...]

  6. As a lapsed physicist I still retain some notions that I learned along the way One of them is that nature tries its hardest to smooth over any huge discontinuities i.e if there is something totally out of whack with its surroundings, then the surroundings will find one way or another to bring it back Some call this the Second Law of Thermodynamics if you wanna get technical.And this notion is what kept popping up in my head while I was reading this incredible book Here we have machines of incred [...]

  7. 3 3.5 stars.What to say Mostly, I m dumbstruck that the US and USSR didn t accidentally blow up the planet using nuclear weapons during the Cold War The author describes Several accidents and sometimes deaths of air crews or maintenance personnel when handling nuclear weapons during testing or transport, over a 40 ish year period The culture of the Strategic Air Group SAC that didn t appreciate the lack of safety in the weapons designs and actively fought against implementing changes to designs [...]

  8. Wow Really Oh my God Holy shit Those were a few of the many exclamations that came from me as I read this book And my poor husband had to endure listening to me read passages from this book as he was trying to fall asleep I grew up during the cold war and had nuclear nightmares from the 60 s through the mid 80 s At some point I convinced myself that the world was safer and that I didn t need to worry about nuclear war any This book has convinced me otherwise It has also convinced me that it will [...]

  9. A socket falls on the skin of a Titan II missile which carries in its warhead a 9 Megaton H bomb the largest bomb in the U.S working arsenal The punctured missile in Damascus Arkansas starts leaking fuel unknown to the operators This study of one of hundreds of Normal Accidents during the cold war involving nuclear weapons is a tale about the men and women who risked their lives and sometimes died working with these weapons The combinations of human error, glitches , miscalculations and threats [...]

  10. I thought I knew a lot about nuclear weapons and the how the Cold War worked, strategies, delivery systems, and crises But this book really shows how disorganized it all was, from the interagency infighting to the inherent conflict between weapons that are safe from accidental or malicious use and weapons that will go off if needed We take it for granted that nuclear weapons are designed not to go off if dropped or burned when planes crash while carrying bombs , but they had to be designed that [...]

  11. Just how close has the world come to nuclear armgeddon and how many times Schlosser can help if you have ever wondered this question He spares no detail It s an exhaustive history, with emphasis on the exhaustive Schlosser s work is impeccably researched swaths of history, from Trinity through the Cold War, the nuclear armament, the political dance, the Bay of Pigs, Chelyabinsk, Reagan s Star Wars, etc etc etc spliced with the details leading up to the incident at the Air Force facility in Damas [...]

  12. One of the main takeaways from Eric Schlosser s riveting, smart, packed with crazy facts and stories portrait of the atomic nuclear era, mostly in America but obviously also including the Soviets, NATO, India, Pakistan, China, et al, is this we were fucking lucky as hell to get out the Cold War alive That no atomic then nuclear then thermonuclear warhead denoted by mistake in its home silo submarine airplane airbase that none were launched by accident on either side, provoking massive retaliatio [...]

  13. Um daqueles excelentes livros com a hist ria de um evento o acidente de Damascus, em 1980 e uma hist ria maior o desenvolvimento e seguran a de armas at micas O desenvolvimento do acidente em si muito bom e a hist ria do desenvolvimento das bombas at micas fica muito bem contada O estrago que elas podem causar, os problemas com o transporte e o armazenamento, os acidentes e os v rios momentos em que a humanidade ficou beira de um ataque nuclear Um pouco desesperador descobrir a falta de seguran [...]

  14. How many ways are there to mishandle a nuclear weapon Turns out about a million Drop them from planes, crash them in planes, catch them on fire, put them in planes and catch them on fire, leave them on top of missiles about to explode, park them at a NATO ally with an unstable government and one lone soldier armed with a revolver guarding them, forget to take warheads off the missiles and fly them across the USA, have random criticality accidents in the nuclear lab, just to name a fewAnd how man [...]

  15. This is one of those books in which every page seems full of information never too much at a time, though, and not just data or raw facts A broad plurality of voices, from interviews the author conducted as well as from his careful distillation of seemingly every source available almost 150 pages are devoted to endnotes , conveys both big picture policy and idiosyncratic detail over every generation of the nuclear age There s a narrative through line, and there is even suspense at least for anyo [...]


  17. Eric Schlosser s Fast food Nation was a hilarious and scary expose of the McDonald s fast food culture in the U.S Command and Control is a similarly impressive feat of investigative journalism, although here the subject matter is not so light heartedly amusing and is infinitely terrifying than tales of unhealthy burgers produced in unsustainable conditions served up by exploited sweat shop workers to an army of the obese For here the topic is nuclear weapons, offering a look at something we d r [...]

  18. Around 6 30pm on September 18, 1980, two missile technicians were servicing a Titan II ICBM in a silo in rural Arkansas As one of them was unscrewing an oxidizer pressure cap with a socket wrench, a socket fell off the wrench and dropped through the gap between the missile and the work platform falling about 70 feet, the nine pound socket bounced off the thrust mount platform, hit the missile and punctured its skin, causing a leak of rocket fuel Incompetent management of the emergency by Air For [...]

  19. A book full with a lot of information about the command and control subject of nuclear weapons,the evolution of nuclear weapon design from the primitive canonball design,the implosion design with explsive lenses til the multiestage Teller Ulam design of a nuclear Litium Deuteride fusion bomb and a extensive histhory of the cold war from the USA point of view.Narrate the decision of drop the fission bombs in Japan,the narrow histhoric window when it seems that the nuclear weapons could be banned [...]

  20. As an army brat I ve always found it odd how Americans view the military as a bunch of uber competent and noble professionals Uh uh No, no, no The military is made up of a bunch of dorks who couldn t think of anything better to do after graduating high school or college Putting them in a uniform and giving them basic training doesn t change that Trust me here, I watched my dad and his friends drop water balloons from an 11th floor balcony and get into drunken silly string fights Dorks Especially [...]

  21. Probably the best argument for the existence of God that I have ever read that is, it seems vanishingly improbable that the litany of catastrophic near misses described in this book never destroyed civilisation, or at the least several medium sized cities in Texas and North Carolina Sheesh Like one source quoted in the book says, divine intervention seems like the most likely explanation.It was also sobering how much of the technological infrastructure of the 21st century was driven by the need [...]

  22. Hey, do you like being terrified Are you the sort who obsesses about armageddon Then boy howdy do I have a book for you.It s pretty close to just dumb luck that a nuclear weapon has never exploded accidentally Schlosser does a hell of a job of describing the various near misses and accidents that have occurred with nuclear weapons in the past 70 years or so He also explains a great deal about the culture that surrounds the production and storage of nuclear weapons in the US and how that has cont [...]

  23. I first heard about this book at the National Museum of Nuclear Science History in Albuquerque, a few days after j and I visited Los Alamos, which is one the strangest places I ve ever been My dad has also been giving me all sorts of information about the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, since he lives relatively close to Japan So, I ve kind of been obsessed with nuclear science and history for the last six months.This book is really fascinating and tremendously important, and I highly recom [...]

  24. I am just starting, only on page 100, but this is hair raising not only because of the near disasters, but also in the descriptions of dangerous and insanely expensive materials The thought of how much tax money went into these engines of destruction is almost as appalling as the idea of their use Update The book is over long and often repetitive in that annoying History Channel style, but interesting nevertheless It just needed a ruthless editor There is often the impression with this type of w [...]

  25. A fantastic and frightening account of our nuclear armament situation The fact we haven t blown up the world accidentally is shocking and Schlosser shows exactly how close we have come many times over A required read for anyone interested in the Cold War or systematic failures of the government.

  26. Having read Schlosser s Junk Food Nation, and having thought it excellent, I decided to pick up Command and Control as a follow up to Rhodes s The Making of the Atom Bomb Although Rhodes s book was a towering achievement, I must say I enjoyed Schlosser s much while rigorous and very well researched it is also less hard to follow for a lawyer with limited scientific understanding Command and Control is a terrifying book Nowadays or at least until November last year it is fashionable to blame the [...]

  27. Dropping a nuclear weapon was never a good idea 168 Command and Control is a far interesting book than it may seem At first glance Schlosser s topic is fairly technical, even rarefied safety problems for atomic weapons during the Cold War And yet I couldn t put the book down without a struggle, and read parts of it out loud to my family.What makes this book so good To begin with, Schlosser creates a nice narrative structure, intertwining two timelines, big and small The macro story concerns ato [...]

  28. K du piektdienu st v ju vilciena pietur un gaid ju savu vilcienu Lai kav tu laiku, las ju jauno Economist numuru T nu ir san cis, ka aj urn l pirmais, ko es lasu, ir gr matu apskati Tur es ieraudz ju s gr matas apskatu, un man bija skaidrs uzreiz j izlasa oblig ti Ieg de ar notika apbr nojami tri, dab ju J a Rozes gr matn c jau tai pa dien T k is tas las ms v l bija iekr jies, gr matai n c s p ris dien s pagaid t savu k rtu.K du dienu net lu no Damaskas Arkanzasas tat k das Titan II ra etes tehn [...]

  29. Command And Control Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of SafetyEric SchlosserRead it in Hardcover at an investment of 640 pages thick with it.Browsing the book bin at Costco is dangerous, especially when you walk out the door with a 640 page tomb None the less this was excellent and consumed it greedily They are out there, waiting, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial and they work SchlosserCommand and Control looks at the events leading to the creation of the [...]

  30. This has nothing to do with the book, but it has the worst book cover I ve ever seen.If any book will make a person anti nuclear weapons, this one will The reader will get through this book wondering how a nuclear weapon has not gone off accidentally yet, or on purpose This is a mind blowing book about the proliferation of nuclear weapons since the first one was set off Who has heard of the for real Davy Crocket Nuclear Rifle that was around in the 50 s I think that nuclear weapons were a game f [...]

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