Rhetorical Analysis of Non Fiction Book “Command and Control”

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Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control is a well-formed, investigated analysis of the Cold War and America’s expansion and deployment of its nuclear weapons. Addressing the Damascus accident and how people are only provided with an illusion of control. Depicting tremendous courage, unprecedented reports of calamity, many near mishaps in the last 50 years. The rhetorical effective Command and Control, through clear explanations, repetition, anecdotes, and appeals examine how improbable events can turn into inevitable accounts and mankind’s inability to manage the deadliest weapons ever invented safely.

Schlosser provides in-depth accounts of many near-fatal incidents that had the potential to end or harm civilians lives in specific accounts. Such as Goldsboro incident in North Carolina on January 23, 1961, that consisted of a fuel leak in a B-52 bomber, carrying two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs, which spiraled out of control and break apart mid-air; The Mather Air Force Base incident in California on March 13, 1961, telling the story of another B-52 bomber plane, also containing two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs, crashed into a barley field. Depicting the ongoing safety concern and issue of how nuclear weapons are being managed within American soil. Effectively reaching his audience through the use of anecdotes that through clear explanation reveals the coalition between human fallibility and technological complexity poses a profound risk to mankind.

“Command and Control”, through the use of clear explanation and pathos, conveys a highly effective and convincing message and achieves Schlosser’s purpose: to examine the deadly and horrific truth behind the safety of nuclear arsenals. To reach his audience, Schlosser utilizes ethical, logical, and emotional appeals. His logical appeals occur mostly in the chapters “Accidents Will Happen”, where he examines why and how these nuclear weapons have accidents and precautionary measures to increase the safety of nuclear weapons.

However, even in the chapters about specific people—in which the choices and suffering of individual do-gooders provoke a strong emotional response in the reader—logical appeals and analyses are present, which serve to both educate and convince the reader. Schlosser does not simply recount anecdotes to support his claim; instead, he explores and examines individual inner thoughts and interactions in the Damascus Accident and the effect it had on them. Leaving readers to be more inclined to be able to relate and moved by the stories because of his effective use of appeals.subjects and that of the average reader, the latter is able to relate and is moved by the stories because of her effective use of appeals.

Although the tone of Command and Control varies, it is largely objective and inquisitive, which the author creates through the use of quantitative and qualitative data, such as history and specific examples during the Cold War. As Schlosser details the mindset of the Damascus accident, the tone shifts based on the character and how they were affected, becoming ardent or sorrowful, but each story never strays from the exploratory purpose of the book as a whole. His complex, academic diction, and varied but often lengthy syntax are effective in provoking thought but often make the generalized sections of the book rather dry.

Although some of Eric Schlosser’s rhetorical strategies are less effective than others, his cumulative work is a highly effective exploration of some of the most lasting and important questions of society: “How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them?” The structure is different from many other nonfiction works, but the changes in focus and specific subject material make her work engaging and interesting. Strangers Drowning is not only an effective communication of ideas, but a compelling, engaging, and challenging book in its own right.


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Rhetorical Analysis of Non Fiction Book “Command and Control”. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/rhetorical-analysis-of-non-fiction-book-command-and-control/

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