Command and Control

  • by Eric Schlosser
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 20 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- S. Hodge

Great eye opening read

You will find many and scary facts in this book that will hopefully let you become a more informed citizen
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- Audrius Z.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-09-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd