Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Inside Iraq's Green Zone

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Synopsis

The Green Zone, Baghdad, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by idealistic aides chosen primarily for their views on issues such as abortion and capital punishment, the CPA spent the crucial first year of occupation pursuing goals that had little to do with the immediate needs of a postwar nation: flat taxes instead of electricity and deregulated health care instead of emergency medical supplies.

In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Rajiv Chandrasekaran

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Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He has reported from more than three dozen countries and has served as the newspaper's bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia. He is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, a finalist for the National Book Award and one of The New York Times's 10 Best Books of 2007. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published September 19, 2006 by Vintage. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Imperial Life in the Emerald City

The New York Times

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Johnson This book tells the bureaucratic story of Iraq’s Year 1, the year after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, when the United States was the legal occupying power and responsible for the country’s administration.

Dec 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

The New York Times

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The headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq comes across as a bubble cut off from the grim realities of Iraq in Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s revealing new book.

Oct 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

The Guardian

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Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran 356pp, Bloomsbury, £12.99 The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A Allawi 518pp, Yale, £18.99 The Iraq war has produced a cupboardful of books and these two have both been in the news.

Jun 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

Publishers Weekly

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As the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post , Chandrasekaran has probably spent more time in U.S.-occupied Iraq than any other American journalist, and his intimate perspective permeates this history of the Coalition Provisional Authority headquartered in the Green Zone around Saddam Huss...

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BC Books

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It explains why 24-year-old Jay Hallen, who had no background in economics or finance, was assigned to remake and rebuild the Baghdad Stock Exchange and why Frederick M Burkle, Jr., a physician with an impressive resume of degrees and international experience was replaced as the man in charge of ...

Nov 26 2007 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

Bookmarks Magazine

The book covers ground similar to that of Larry Diamond’s Squandered Victory (2005) and Anthony Shadid’s Night Draws Near (2005), though the author’s proximity to the events he reports in this "withering assessment" (Andrew Metz) separates Emerald City from the spate of books being published on t...

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

National Review Online

Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s front-pager in yesterday’s Washington Post, about how Jim O’Beirne allegedly hired Bush loyalists over experts to staff the Iraqi occupation, was a hit piece, pure and simple: thinly sourced, fantastic in parts, and propagandistic.

Sep 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

Alibi

As the CPA dug into Iraq’s books, it realized the country had been running deficits for years.

Mar 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Imperial Life in the Emerald ...

The Blurb

I don’t read very much non-fiction - two in a row must be almost a record - and certainly didn’t anticipate breaching that limitation just to find out what I reckoned I already knew about the war in Iraq.

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