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Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the…

by Eric Schlosser

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1583815,212 (4.21)15
Presents a minute-by-minute account of an H-bomb accident that nearly caused a nuclear disaster, examining other near misses and America's growing susceptibility to a catastrophic event.
  1. 00
    Fallout: Disasters, Lies, and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age by Fred Pearce (Pinebranch)
    Pinebranch: All things nuclear have inherited some of the secrecy of the early nuclear weapons programs. These histories tell the stories of accidents and consequences that authorities kept hidden until well after the fact. Fallout tells the stories of factory and power plant problems that could have been disastrous; Command and Control tells of times we almost nuked ourselves. Both are written by journalists in quite readable styles.… (more)
  2. 00
    Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by James Mahaffey (LISandKL)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Fróðleg bók um sögu uppbyggingar kjarnorkuvopnabúnaðar bandaríkjamanna. Það fer sannarlega kaldur hrollur um mann við að lesa frásögn Schlossers af stöðugum mistökum, óhöppum og vítaverðu gáleysi við kjarnorkuvopnin. Margoft virðist heppnin ein hafa komið í veg fyrir að kjarnorku- og vetnissprengjur spryngju í Bandaríkjunum og víðar.
Þrátt fyrir heillandi efni þá fór uppsetning bókarinnar í taugarnar á mér því Schlosser flakkaði fram og til baka í tímanum þegar hann var að reyna að gera línulega frásögn af sögu vígbúnaðarkapphlaupsins og öryggisráðstafana því tengdu annars vegar og hins vegar segja frá því í gegnum ítarlega viðtöl þegar öflugasta eldflaug bandaríkjamanna sprakk með vetnissprengju á jörðu niðri. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
I started this book in February, and had to set it aside once the school musical hit full-speed and the end of the school year consumed me. It gets a bit slow in the middle, but once it hits the Cuban missile crisis, it was hard to put down.

After reading the first 80 pages, I sent an email to Schlosser's publisher, thanking him for writing the book. My dad was a missilier in the Air Force, and I never had a clue what he did. I've always been proud of my dad's Air Force career, but this book exponentially increased that pride. I had no clue the danger he endured every time he pulled an alert or stepped on a plane. In fact, I remember when the 1st Gulf War began, how comforted I felt that my dad was commanding a missile squadron and couldn't be deployed, as if he was somehow completely protected from danger at the missile silos.

Never getting rid of this book--it will become an artifact of our family history (much like Fiddler on the Roof is for my mom's side of the family). Anyone with a fleeting interest in nuclear weaponry or the Cold War (a war that doesn't get nearly the respect or recognition it deserves) has to read this book. Totally worth the time, even if it takes five months to finish it. ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
This story is way more scary than Chernobyl. ( )
  Enno23 | Aug 15, 2021 |
Eric Schlosser's "Command and Control" tells the very scary side of maintaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons over the past fifty years. He details a number of alerts, near misses, and accidents involving nuclear weapons, and how lucky we are that a major mishap never occurred during the cold war. The weapons, and the technology and controls behind them, are enormously complex, and given the likelihoos of mechanical breakdowns and human errors, or even a rogue element, the risks are higher than we'd like to believe.
You may not sleep very well during the first night or two of reading this book, but on the other hand, and left unsaid, is that the safeguards and safety precautions put in place to prevent inadvertant launch of missles, radiation leaks, or nuclear detonation have proven their worth thus far. Small accidents have occurred, as Schlosser details, but the controls up to this point have prevented catastrophic consequences. However, while the number of nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and former Soviet Union have been reduced, there are other countries with nuclear arsenals, and others working toward joining the nuclear club. And while Schlosser talks primarily of problems identified within our borders, multiply our identified incidents by a growing number of nations possessing nuclear weapons which could have similar problems, and it's clear we're not out of the woods quite yet.

( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Terrifying and detailed history of the Cold War nuclear arsenal

This was a detailed history of the Strategic Air Command and the US nuclear arsenal, with special focus on a Titan II accident which illustrated the safety concerns with nuclear weapons. Readers will be amazed no more serious accidents ever occurred given the hair trigger launch posture and substandard engineering of many of the systems. A great read. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eric Schlosserprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cavanaugh, MeighanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kendall, GideonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen
For my father
First words
On September 18, 1980, at about six thirty in the morning, Senior Airman David F. Powell and Airman Jeffrey L. Plumb walked into the silo at Launch Complex 347-7, a few miles north of Damascus, Arkansas.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Presents a minute-by-minute account of an H-bomb accident that nearly caused a nuclear disaster, examining other near misses and America's growing susceptibility to a catastrophic event.

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