Command and Control
Command and Controlinterweaves 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 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 Controltakes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view.
'So damnably readable. It drives the vision of a world trembling on the edge of a fatal precipice deep into your mind . . . a piece of work of the deepest import, with the multilayered density of an ambitiously conceived novel.' John Lloyd, Financial Times
'Brilliant, gripping, chilling.' Steven Shapin, London Review of Books
'Do you really want to read about the thermonuclear warheads that are still aimed at the city where you live? Do you really need to know about the appalling security issues that have dogged nuclear weapons in the 70 years since their invention? Yes, you do. In Schlosser's hands it is a reading treat . . . he's a natural genius.' Jonathan Franzen,Guardian, Books of the Year
'Deeply reported, deeply frightening.' Los Angeles Times
'Part techno-thriller, part careful historical investigation . . . beautifully written and impressively researched.' Gerard DeGroot, Daily Telegraph
'The author of Fast Food Nation does for the American nuclear industry what he did for industrial food production.' Economist, Books of the Year
'Eric Schlosser detonates a truth bomb in Command and Control.'Vanity Fair
Eric Schlosser is the author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, as well as the co-author of a children's book, Chew on This. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, the Nation, and Vanity Fair, and he was an executive producer on the films Fast Food Nation and There Will Be Blood and a co-producer of the documentary Food Inc.