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Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside…
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Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone (2006)

by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,351385,697 (4.02)56
  1. 10
    The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer (rakerman)
    rakerman: Assassin's Gate gives a different but overlapping perspective on many of the issues covered in Imperial Life in the Emerald City; they are good companion books.
  2. 10
    Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Plus ça change... life as a foreign occupier, however friendly, seems to have faced similar challenges in very different environments.
  3. 00
    Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Roméo Dallaire (wandering_star)
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
"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. Most
Iraqis were barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it
up. 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."
--jacket
  collectionmcc | Mar 6, 2018 |
A glimpse of the military life inside the 'green zone' at the start of the U.S. attack on Iraq (3/03) Really shows how beer tried to manage things with no thought of how the Iraqis were affected. Another view of this comedy of errors. The title indicates how the military took over one of Saddam's palaces and lived in a little world unto themselves.
  camplakejewel | Sep 26, 2017 |
Chandrasekaran wrote an impressive account of life in Iraq in the first few years of the U.S. occupation. He's balanced, but he relates the reality of incompetence and arrogance among the Americans with unflinching honesty. ( )
  nmele | Sep 7, 2017 |
A fairly readable account of life in the Green zone shortly after the US Invasion.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
This representation came across as very biased and condescending. I listened to the audio, and the narrator even used mocking type voices for those being made out as the villains! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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Do not try to do too much your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, nad you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is. (T. E. Lawrence, August 20, 1917)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307278832, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:12 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this unprecedented account, the Washington Post's former Baghdad bureau chief, Raviv Chandrasekaran, takes us with him into the Green Zone, headquarters for the American occupation of Iraq. In this bubble, cut off from wartime realities, where the task of reconstructing a devastated nation competed with the distractions of a Little America were a half-dozen bars stocked with cold beer, a disco where women showed up in hot pants, a shopping mall, and a parking lot filled with shiny new SUV's, much of it run by Halliburton. The country is put into the hands of inexperienced twentysomethings chosen for their Republican Party loyalty. Ignoring what Iraqis say they want or need, the team pursues irrelevant neoconservative solutions and pie-in-the-sky policies instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity. Their almost comic initiatives anger the locals and fuel the insurgency. Most Iraqis were barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it up.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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