Eric Schlosser has visited the state of the art labs where scientists recreate the flavours and smells of everything from cooked chicken to fresh strawberries in the test tube and he has spoken to workers at meatpacking plants with some of the worst safety records in the world. He explores the links between Hollywood and the fast food trade, and the tactics used to target ever younger consumers. In a meticulously researched and powerfully argued account, reveals the full price of our appetite for instant gratification.
“Excellent… hair-raising is how nonfiction should be written.” (Louis Menand)
“A devastatingly lucid and detailed new history of nuclear weapons in the U.S…. fascinating.” (Lev Grossman)
“So incontrovertibly right and so damnably readable… a work with the multilayered density of an ambitiously conceived novel… Schlosser has done what journalism does at its best."
“Deeply reported, deeply frightening… a techno-thriller of the first order.”
Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, 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.
Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, 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, 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, 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 men who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, 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, is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.