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

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

Alfred A. Knopf, 2006

Riveting, well-written behind the scenes account of the War and Post-war reconstruction period in Iraq (2004).  Scary, sometimes depressing and downright maddening.  Shows incompetence, prioritizing based on ambition, lack of planning due to over-optimism and a frightening display of partisan politics.

"When an Iraqi-American interpreter offered to loan a senior CPA staffer a copy of Hanna Batatu's The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, a seminal work of regional history, the staffer declined.  He pointed to a small book on his desk. "Everything I need is in here," he said.  The interpreter picked up the book.  It was a tourist guide to Iraq, written in the 1970s."

See by same author: Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, 2012

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