Command and Control

Author: Eric Schlosser
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143125788
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Command and Control

Author: Eric Schlosser
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101638664
Format: PDF, Docs
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**The documentary Command and Control, directed by Robert Kenner, finds its origins in Eric Schlosser's book and continues to explore the little-known history of the management and safety concerns of America's nuclear aresenal.** The documentary will air on PBS's American Experience on January 10th. A myth-shattering exposé of America’s nuclear weapons Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking 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? That question has never been resolved—and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. While the harms of global warming increasingly dominate the news, the equally dangerous yet more immediate threat of nuclear weapons has been largely forgotten. Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policy makers, 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, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, 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 people 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. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.

Command and Control

Author: Eric Schlosser
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141943173
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, comes Command and Control a ground-breaking account of the management of nuclear weapons A groundbreaking 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. At the heart of Command and Control lies the story of an accident at a missile silo in rural Arkansas, where a handful of men struggled to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States. Schlosser interweaves this minute-by-minute account 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. Looking at the Cold War from a new perspective, Schlosser offers 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. 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. 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. Two of his plays, Americans (2003) and We the People (2007), have been produced in London. 'A work with the multi-layered density of an ambitiously conceived novel' John Lloyd, Financial Times 'Command and Control is how non-fiction should be written ... By a miracle of information management, Schlosser has synthesized a huge archive of material, including government reports, scientific papers, and a substantial historical and polemical literature on nukes, and transformed it into a crisp narrative covering more than fifty years of scientific and political change. And he has interwoven that narrative with a hair-raising, minute-by-minute account of an accident at a Titan II missile silo in Arkansas, in 1980, which he renders in the manner of a techno-thriller' New Yorker 'The strength of Schlosser's writing derives from his ability to carry a wealth of startling detail on a confident narrative path' Ed Pilkington, Guardian 'Disquieting but riveting ... fascinating ... Schlosser's readers (and he deserves a great many) will be struck by how frequently the people he cites attribute the absence of accidental explosions and nuclear war to divine intervention or sheer luck rather than to human wisdom and skill. Whatever was responsible, we will clearly need many more of it in the years to come' Walter Russell Mead, New York Times

Atomic Accidents

Author: James Mahaffey
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1480447749
Format: PDF, ePub
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A “delightfully astute” and “entertaining” history of the mishaps and meltdowns that have marked the path of scientific progress (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Radiation: What could go wrong? In short, plenty. From Marie Curie carrying around a vial of radium salt because she liked the pretty blue glow to the large-scale disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, dating back to the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters. In this lively book, long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy James Mahaffey looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident, while taking its toll, has led to new understanding of the mighty atom—and the fascinating frontier of science that still holds both incredible risk and great promise.

Raven Rock

Author: Garrett M. Graff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 147673545X
Format: PDF
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The shocking truth about the government’s secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil—even if the rest of us die—is “a frightening eye-opener” (Kirkus Reviews) that spans the dawn of the nuclear age to today, and "contains everything one could possibly want to know" (The Wall Street Journal). Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold first Helicopter Squadron, codenamed “MUSSEL,” flies over the Potomac River. As obvious as the Presidential motorcade, most people assume the squadron is a travel perk for VIPs. They’re only half right: while the helicopters do provide transport, the unit exists to evacuate high-ranking officials in the event of a terrorist or nuclear attack on the capital. In the event of an attack, select officials would be whisked by helicopters to a ring of secret bunkers around Washington, even as ordinary citizens were left to fend for themselves. “In exploring the incredible lengths (and depths) that successive administrations have gone to in planning for the aftermath of a nuclear assault, Graff deftly weaves a tale of secrecy and paranoia” (The New York Times Book Review) with details "that read like they've been ripped from the pages of a pulp spy novel" (Vice). For more than sixty years, the US government has been developing secret Doomsday strategies to protect itself, and the multibillion-dollar Continuity of Government (COG) program takes numerous forms—from its potential to evacuate the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to the plans to launch nuclear missiles from a Boeing-747 jet flying high over Nebraska. Garrett M. Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the 650-acre compound, called Raven Rock, just miles from Camp David, as well as dozens of other bunkers the government built for its top leaders during the Cold War, from the White House lawn to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado to Palm Beach, Florida, and the secret plans that would have kicked in after a Cold War nuclear attack to round up foreigners and dissidents and nationalize industries. Equal parts a presidential, military, and cultural history, Raven Rock tracks the evolution of the government plan and the threats of global war from the dawn of the nuclear era through the War on Terror.

The Limits of Safety

Author: Scott Douglas Sagan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691021015
Format: PDF
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Environmental tragedies such as Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, and Bhopal remind us that catastrophic accidents are always possible in a modern world full of hazardous technologies. Yet, the safety record appears to be extraordinarily good with nuclear weapons, the most dangerous technology of all. This safety record has led scholars, policy-makers, and the public alike to believe that nuclear weapons can serve as a safe and secure deterrent into the foreseeable future in the post-Cold War era. In this provocative and path-breaking book, Scott Sagan challenges such optimistic beliefs. Sagan's painstaking research into formerly classified archives penetrates the veil of safety that has surrounded U.S. nuclear weapons operations. Guided by theories of reliability in complex organizations, Sagan has uncovered a hidden history of frightening "close calls" to disaster: lost nuclear-armed bombers fly into the Russian warning net, Air Force officers tamper with missiles to be able to launch them without orders, B-52 bombers crash with thermonuclear weapons aboard and then vanish from the official histories, an unstable pilot deliberately turns on the two arming switches on his aircraft's nuclear bombs, and false warnings during the Cuban missile crisis lead pilots and radar operators to believe that the United States is under nuclear attack. Incomprehension, political maneuvering, and even cover-ups have limited what we have learned from these dangerous incidents, and Sagan maintains that many hidden bugs in the system remain. While the risk of deliberate nuclear war has been reduced with the end of the Cold War, the risk of serious accidents, even accidental war, remains unacceptably high. The inheritance of nuclear missiles by Soviet successor states, the continuing spread of the bomb to developing nations, and misplaced confidence in the safety of our own arsenal should produce deep concerns. Unless we radically change the posture of our nuclear arsenal, over the long run, when we least expect it, a serious accident will occur. The key factors that scholars believe lead to high organizational reliability - redundant back-up systems, personnel discipline, and trial-and-error learning - have not produced a safe nuclear arsenal. This book therefore challenges our beliefs, not only about nuclear weapons safety, but also about our ability to control the many other hazardous technologies on which modern society is based.

Reefer Madness

Author: Eric Schlosser
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547526751
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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New York Times Bestseller: The shadowy world of “off the books” businesses—from marijuana to migrant workers—brought to life by the author of Fast Food Nation. America’s black market is much larger than we realize, and it affects us all deeply, whether or not we smoke pot, rent a risqué video, or pay our kids’ nannies in cash. In Reefer Madness, the award-winning investigative journalist Eric Schlosser turns his exacting eye to the underbelly of American capitalism and its far-reaching influence on our society. Exposing three American mainstays—pot, porn, and illegal immigrants—Schlosser shows how the black market has burgeoned over the past several decades. He also draws compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, and how big business learns—and profits—from the underground. “Captivating . . . Compelling tales of crime and punishment as well as an illuminating glimpse at the inner workings of the underground economy. The book revolves around two figures: Mark Young of Indiana, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his relatively minor role in a marijuana deal; and Reuben Sturman, an enigmatic Ohio man who built and controlled a formidable pornography distribution empire before finally being convicted of tax evasion. . . . Schlosser unravels an American society that has ‘become alienated and at odds with itself.’ Like Fast Food Nation, this is an eye-opening book, offering the same high level of reporting and research.” —Publishers Weekly

Arsenals of Folly

Author: Richard Rhodes
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0375713948
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Pulizer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb narrates the story of the postwar superpower arms race that culminated in the Reagan-Gorbachev era when the U.S. and Soviet Union came all too close to nuclear war, chronicling the nuclear policies on both sides following World War II and their implications for global peace and security. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.