Insight with Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Life in the bubble of the Green Zone of Baghdad

Talk Wednesday 20th June, 2007

The Washington Post‘s former Baghdad bureau chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran talks about Baghdad’s Green Zone – a place so removed from the realities of Iraqi life that laws on protecting microchip designs take precedence over rebuilding this shattered country.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post. He heads the Continuous News department for and helps shape the newspaper’s multimedia strategy.

From April 2003 to October 2004, he was The Post’s bureau chief in Baghdad, where he was responsible for covering the American occupation of Iraq and supervising a team of Post correspondents. He lived in Baghdad for much of the six months before the war, reporting on the United Nations weapons-inspections process and the build-up to the conflict.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City is an unprecedented account of life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a walled-off enclave of towering plants, posh villas, and sparkling swimming pools serving as headquarters for the American occupation. The book has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2007.

Adrian Wells is the Head of Foreign News, Sky News.

“A vividly detailed portrait…like something out of Catch-22.” New York Times