Imperial Life in The Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
As the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post, Chandrasekaran has probably spent more time in U.S.-occupied Iraq than any other American journalist, and his intimate perspective permeates this history of the Coalition Provisional Authority headquartered in the Green Zone around Saddam Hussein's former palace. Chandrasekaran unstintingly depicts the stubborn cluelessness of many Americans in the Green Zone but he sympathetically portrays others trying their best to cut through the red tape and institute genuine reforms. He also has a sharp eye for details which enable both advocates and critics of the occupation to understand the emotional toll of its circus-like atmosphere. Thanks to these personal touches, the account of the CPA's failures never feels heavy-handed.