Eric Schlosser to speak about nuclear weapons at annual RVC lecture April 3

Eric Schlosser
Eric Schlosser

Online Staff Report

Rock Valley College (RVC) will welcome bestselling author Eric Schlosser as the guest speaker for the third annual David H. Caskey Memorial Lecture at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 3, in the Physical Education Center (PEC) on RVC’s main campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road.

Schlosser will discuss his latest book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, The Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. He will share his research about the history and complexity of these weapons, as well as a concern about the human capacity for error. The Cold War may have ended years ago, yet nuclear weapons remain. Where do we go from here?

As an investigative journalist, Schlosser tries to explore subjects ignored by mainstream media and give a voice to people at the margins of society. Over the years, he’s followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California, spent time with meat-packing workers in Texas and Colorado, told the stories of marijuana growers and pornographers and the victims of violent crime, gone on duty with the New York Police Department Bomb Squad, and visited prisons throughout the United States. His aim is to shed light on worlds that are too often hidden. And his work defies easy categorization, earning praise not only from liberal publications like The Nation, but also from Fortune, the Financial Times and the National Review.

Schlosser’s first book, Fast Food Nation (2001), helped start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. His second book, Reefer Madness (2003), looked at America’s thriving underground economy. It was also a New York Times bestseller. Chew on This (2006), a New York Times bestselling children’s book, co-written with Charles Wilson, introduced young readers to the health effects of fast food and the workings of industrial agriculture. His new book, Command and Control (2013), examines the efforts of the military, since the atomic era began during World War II, to prevent nuclear weapons from being stolen, sabotaged or detonated by accident.

Admission to the event is free and open to the entire community. For more information, e-mail Beth Ingle at or call (815) 921-3389.

Posted April 2, 2014

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