BN.com Gift Guide

The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 84%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $6.47   
  • New (9) from $23.98   
  • Used (6) from $0.00   

Overview

Environmental tragedies such as Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez remind us that catastrophic accidents are always possible in a world full of hazardous technologies. Yet, the apparently excellent safety record with nuclear weapons has led scholars, policy-makers, and the public alike to believe that nuclear arsenals can serve as a secure deterrent for the foreseeable future. In this provocative book, Scott Sagan challenges such optimism. Sagan's research into formerly classified archives penetrates the veil of safety that has surrounded U.S. nuclear weapons and reveals a hidden history of frightening "close calls" to disaster.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
An extraordinary book.... Normal accidents theory and high reliability theory took the theory of accidents out of the hands of economists and engineers and put it into the hands of organization theorists; Sagan has brought that theory of accidents much closer to maturity.
— Charles Perrow
Security Studies
Scott Sagan's book is nothing less than a tour de force.... It is by far the most carefully researched and painstaking study of nuclear weapons safety ever written.
— Bruce G. Blair
Sociological Forum
Sagan's stories also drive a wooden stake through the heart of rational choice nuclear deterrence theory. This book will make you scared ... will make you hold your children a little tighter at the end of the day.
— Lee Clarke
Contemporary Sociology
Sagan shows, both explicitly for nuclear weapons and implicitly for intellectual systems, that neither learning nor disasters are essentially matters of improving O-rings, safety procedures, or t-tests, as participants within those systems would like to believe. The primary adaptive action is offstage—in the background framework itself. And at that level, through sheer volume of its data, Sagan's book will shape the way that policymakers and we (with a little less confidence) understand the nuclear world.
American Political Science Review
Grounded in original research in U.S. national security archives, [Limits of Safety] reveals a disturbing history of near-catastrophes in the handling of nuclear weapons and bombers. . . . This book is a significant contribution to . . . international security studies, organizational theory, and risk analysis.
Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management - Charles Perrow
An extraordinary book.... Normal accidents theory and high reliability theory took the theory of accidents out of the hands of economists and engineers and put it into the hands of organization theorists; Sagan has brought that theory of accidents much closer to maturity.
Security Studies - Bruce G. Blair
Scott Sagan's book is nothing less than a tour de force.... It is by far the most carefully researched and painstaking study of nuclear weapons safety ever written.
Sociological Forum - Lee Clarke
Sagan's stories also drive a wooden stake through the heart of rational choice nuclear deterrence theory. This book will make you scared ... will make you hold your children a little tighter at the end of the day.
From the Publisher

Winner of the 1993 Best Book Award, Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies Section of the American Political Science Association

"An extraordinary book.... Normal accidents theory and high reliability theory took the theory of accidents out of the hands of economists and engineers and put it into the hands of organization theorists; Sagan has brought that theory of accidents much closer to maturity."--Charles Perrow, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

"Scott Sagan's book is nothing less than a tour de force.... It is by far the most carefully researched and painstaking study of nuclear weapons safety ever written."--Bruce G. Blair, Security Studies

"Sagan's stories also drive a wooden stake through the heart of rational choice nuclear deterrence theory. This book will make you scared ... will make you hold your children a little tighter at the end of the day."--Lee Clarke, Sociological Forum

"Sagan shows, both explicitly for nuclear weapons and implicitly for intellectual systems, that neither learning nor disasters are essentially matters of improving O-rings, safety procedures, or t-tests, as participants within those systems would like to believe. The primary adaptive action is offstage--in the background framework itself. And at that level, through sheer volume of its data, Sagan's book will shape the way that policymakers and we (with a little less confidence) understand the nuclear world."--Contemporary Sociology

"Grounded in original research in U.S. national security archives, [Limits of Safety] reveals a disturbing history of near-catastrophes in the handling of nuclear weapons and bombers. . . . This book is a significant contribution to . . . international security studies, organizational theory, and risk analysis."--American Political Science Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
List of Acronyms
Introduction: Expecting the Unexpected 3
Ch. 1 The Origins of Accidents 11
Ch. 2 Nuclear Weapons Safety during the Cuban Missile Crisis 53
Ch. 3 Intelligence and Warning during the Cuban Missile Crisis 117
Ch. 4 Redundancy and Reliability: The 1968 Thule Bomber Accident 156
Ch. 5 Learning by Trial and Terror 204
Ch. 6 The Limits of Safety 250
Index 281
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)