Imperial Life in the Emerald City

Imperial Life in the Emerald City : Inside Baghdad's Green Zone

4.01 (4,980 ratings by Goodreads)
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From a walled-off enclave of towering plants, smart villas and sparkling swimming pools - a surreal bubble of pure Americana known as the Green Zone - the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, under imperial viceroy L. Paul Bremer III, attempted to rule Iraq in the first twelve months after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews and internal documents, Rajiv Chandrasekaran tells the memorable story of this ill-prepared attempt to build American democracy in a war-torn Middle Eastern country, detailing not only the risky disbanding of the Iraqi army and the ludicrous attempt to train the new police force, but also bringing to light a host of lesser-known yet typical travesties, among them: * the aide who based Baghdad's new traffic laws on those of the state of Maryland, downloaded * the contractor with no previous experience paid millions to guard a closed airport * the people with prior experience in the Middle East who were excluded in favour of lesser-qualified Republican Party loyalists * the case of the 24-year-old who had never worked in finance put in charge of revitalising Baghdad's stock exchange Written with wit and urgency by a sharp-eyed observer, Imperial Life in the Emerald City provides a hair-raising portrait of the gap between the Oz-like Green Zone and the brutal reality of post-war Iraq. It is American reportage at its best.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 38mm | 598.74g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • maps
  • 0747591687
  • 9780747591689
  • 316,723

Review quote

'A vividly detailed portrait of the Green Zone and the Coalition Provisional Authority (which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004) that becomes a metaphor for the administration's larger failings in Iraq... reads like something out of "Catch-22"' New York Times 'A riveting tale of American misadventure...a mission doomed to failure before it had even been launched' Samantha Power, author of 'A Problem from Hell' 'Full of jaw-dropping tales of the myriad large and small ways in which Bremer and his team poured fuel into the lethal cauldron that is today's Iraq' Washington Post 'An indispensable saga of how the American liberation of Iraq turned to chaos, calamity, and civil war' Rick Atkinson, author of 'An Army at Dawn'
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About Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is an assisting managing editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He previously served the Post as a bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and as a correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan. He recently completed a term as journalist-in-residence at the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins school for Advanced International Studies, and was a public policy scholar at the Wodrow Wilson International Center. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Review Text

"A vividly detailed portrait of the Green Zone and the Coalition Provisional Authority (which ran Iraq s government from April 2003 to June 2004) that becomes a metaphor for the administration s larger failings in Iraq- reads like something out of "Catch-22"." (New York Times)
show more

Rating details

4,980 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,556)
4 44% (2,208)
3 20% (985)
2 4% (189)
1 1% (42)
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