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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An unprecedented account of life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a walled-off enclave of towering plants, posh villas, and sparkling swimming pools that was the headquarters for the American occupation of Iraq.

The Washington Post’s former Baghdad bureau chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran takes us with him into the Zone: into a bubble, cut off from wartime realities, where the task of reconstructing a devastated nation competed with the distractions of a Little America—a half-dozen bars stocked with cold beer, a disco where women showed up in hot pants, a movie theater that screened shoot-’em-up films, an all-you-could-eat buffet piled high with pork, a shopping mall that sold pornographic movies, a parking lot filled with shiny new SUVs, and a snappy dry-cleaning service—much of it run by Halliburton. Most Iraqis were barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it up.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and internal documents, Chandrasekaran tells the story of the people and ideas that inhabited the Green Zone during the occupation, from the imperial viceroy L. Paul Bremer III to the fleet of twentysomethings hired to implement the idea that Americans could build a Jeffersonian democracy in an embattled Middle Eastern country.

In the vacuum of postwar planning, Bremer ignores what Iraqis tell him they want or need and instead pursues irrelevant neoconservative solutions—a flat tax, a sell-off of Iraqi government assets, and an end to food rationing. His underlings spend their days drawing up pie-in-the-sky policies, among them a new traffic code and a law protecting microchip designs, instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity production. His almost comic initiatives anger the locals and help fuel the insurgency.

Chandrasekaran details Bernard Kerik’s ludicrous attempt to train the Iraqi police and brings to light lesser known but typical travesties: the case of the twenty-four-year-old who had never worked in finance put in charge of reestablishing Baghdad’s stock exchange; a contractor with no previous experience paid millions to guard a closed airport; a State Department employee forced to bribe Americans to enlist their help in preventing Iraqi weapons scientists from defecting to Iran; Americans willing to serve in Iraq screened by White House officials for their views on Roe v. Wade; people with prior expertise in the Middle East excluded in favor of lesser-qualified Republican Party loyalists. Finally, he describes Bremer’s ignominious departure in 2004, fleeing secretly in a helicopter two days ahead of schedule.

This is a startling portrait of an Oz-like place where a vital aspect of our government’s folly in Iraq played out. It is a book certain to be talked about for years to come.

Synopsis:

A journalist and former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post furnishes a revealing look at life in Baghdad's Green Zone, the headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq, criticizing the follies and foibles of L. Paul Bremer and others in the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq. 30,000 first printing.

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 byidealistic 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 apostwar 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 TheWashington 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 definitivehistory of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is an assistant 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 Woodrow Wilson International Center. He lives in Washington, D.C.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Map of the Green Zone

Prologue

PART ONE—BUILDING THE BUBBLE

1 Versailles on the Tigris

2 A Deer in the Headlights

The Green Zone, Scene

3 You’re in Charge!

The Green Zone, Scene II

4 Control Freak

The Green Zone, Scene III

5 Who Are These People?

The Green Zone, Scene IV

6 We Need to Rethink This

The Green Zone, Scene V

7 Bring a Duffel Bag

The Green Zone, Scene VI

8 A Yearning for Old Times

PART TWO—SHATTERED DREAMS

9 Let This Be Over

The Green Zone, Scene VII

10 The Plan Unravels

The Green Zone, Scene VIII

11 A Fool’s Errand

The Green Zone, Scene IX

12 We Cannot Continue Like This

The Green Zone, Scene X

13 Missed Opportunities

The Green Zone, Scene XI

14 Breaking the Rules

The Green Zone, Scene XII

15 Crazy, If Not Suicidal

The Green Zone, Scene XIII

16 Lot Left to Be Done

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265920
Subtitle:
Inside Iraq's Green Zone
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Creator:
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Author:
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Author:
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
History : Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
Political corruption
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Military - Iraq War
Subject:
Iraq War, 2003
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Audio Books-World History
Subject:
Middle East-Iraq
Subject:
Military-Recent Military History
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Subject:
World History-Iraq War (2003-?)
Subject:
World History-Middle East
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20060919
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
320

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone
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Product details 320 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307265920 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A journalist and former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post furnishes a revealing look at life in Baghdad's Green Zone, the headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq, criticizing the follies and foibles of L. Paul Bremer and others in the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq. 30,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , 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 byidealistic 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 apostwar 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 TheWashington 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 definitivehistory of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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