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Command and Control Audiobook

Command and Control

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (35 )
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4.7 (35 )
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4.8 (35 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason 01/05/2017
    Jason 01/05/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Detailed and Eye-Opening"

    Having always wondered about just how safe nuclear weapons are and just how close the world has come to accidental or unlawful detonations, I started this book hoping to get a detailed insight in to that secretive world. I was not disappointed.
    Command and Control expertly weaves countless fascinating stories through a main storyline of an accident at a ballistic missile site in the US. It covers both the government-level policy and engineering-level detail for all aspects of nuclear weapons. Even with the fine detail - in fact, because of the fine detail - I was captivated through the entire book and was constantly amazed at just how disastrous the history of nuclear weapons has been. And how it easily could have been far worse.
    The narration was one of the best, if not the best, that I have heard. The readers tone and inflictions expertly underscored the text and made listening to the book a real pleasure.
    If you are remotely interested in the subject, I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damon 28/12/2016
    Damon 28/12/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent."

    I found this a remarkably suspenseful tale, exciting and well told. The historical interposed with the drama and facts. well researched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tigershark 23/02/2015
    Tigershark 23/02/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Incredibly good"

    Shocking! Addictive! Gob smacked!

    If you have an interest in the cold war and arms race between the USA and Soviet Union then this book is a must!

    'A behind the scenes' of unbelievable accounts of nuclear warhead malfunctions, missing bombs, near misses and catastrophic missile silo accidents!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr 22/02/2015
    Mr 22/02/2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More relevant the further it gets from events"

    This book, whilst seemingly about the management (or not) of the US nuclear program, tells a much deeper story about the limits of human capacity to manage risk. Exploring in detail the risks, and risk management strategies put in place, it masterfully avoids becoming dry by weaving in the personal stories of those involved.

    Both terrifying and hopeful, this book gently examines the edges of human capacity, and the likelihood of accidental Armageddon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • S. Hodge
    UK
    13/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping and insightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Command and Control the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

    Jeff Kennedy (although a real person rather than a character).


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
    12/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent collection of facts"
    If you could sum up Command and Control in three words, what would they be?

    <br/>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.


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

    Good voice, as the American accent adds to the narrative


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

    No, needs to be listened to in sections


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Kevin Pfister
    UK
    2/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and engrossing"
    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Very engrossing and adds character to the storytelling.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The juxtaposition between the development and final construction of the first A-Bomb.


    Any additional comments?

    The story covers areas that are usually overlooked or ignored, which in itself creates a gripping listen from start to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • aa
    8/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I've ever listened to."

    Faultless narration.
    Gripping topic.
    I would highly recommend this book.
    If you are considering it then just go for it. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    2/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing that we survived the cold war"

    decent book... good story. narrator pretty dull though. amazing that we didn't accidentally start ww3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. Curtis
    Lincolnshire, UK
    22/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and totally terrifying"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would to anyone interested in the Cold War.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's very well written and researched and the pacing is very well done. It gives you facts but keeps the story going. I liked the format of the main incident mixed with the history and timeline.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Truly terrifying.


    Any additional comments?

    How we are all still here is a miracle. The incompetence and careless attitude of the US army and powers that be down to the untrained guys dealing with nuclear weapons is staggering.<br/><br/>This is a fantastic book that makes you think about how delicate life is. Well worth a download.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Rawlins
    29/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept me away at night"

    An incredibly engaging and fascinating book, takes the true events and history of Nuclear War and tells it in a strong narrative form.

    The realisation that little has been learned from the horrors of history is enough to keep me awake, as against the back drop of lunatics running both North Korea and America, the cold war seems destined to repeat itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jose Elan
    Bolton, UK.
    8/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What is the Command and Control? It's here."
    What made the experience of listening to Command and Control the most enjoyable?

    The book is well researched, no doubt. I'm not sure I like the 'device' of focusing on one disaster as a story to be interspersed with the actually history of what I was interested in.It didn't take anything away from the book other than possibly not being necessary.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    General Lemay - what a guy! General at 34, sorted strategic air commnad - made himself lead bomber in the most dangerous missions.


    Did Scott Brick do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    Average.


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

    I would like to have, the book is superb.


    Any additional comments?

    I found Scott Brick to be almost doing a bad impression of Adam West. I'm from the UK but very often I was totally aware he was acting - it rang false and took me out of the book. It was very consistent though, he wasn't all over the place, maybe if you are American it rings right in your ears and I'm just used to movie accents and that explains it. Fair enough - this history couldn't be more American!If you like the subject, and like me you get more time to listen than to read I'd fully recommend the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Dixon
    London
    10/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Essential for anybody with an interest in the cold war"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jack Padley
    8/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read for students or curious bystanders"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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