Chandrasekaran, Rajiv

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Chandrasekaran, Rajiv


Born in San Francisco, CA. Education: Stanford University, 1994.


Home—Washington, DC. Office— Washington Post, 1150 15th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20071.


Washington Post, Washington, DC, from metropolitan reporter to national technology correspondent, beginning 1994, bureau chief in Baghdad and Cairo, 2003-2004, assistant managing editor, 2005—; has also worked as journalist-in-residence at the International Reporting Project, Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.


National Book Award finalist, 2006, for Imperial Life in the Emerald City.


Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2006.


Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a longtime Washington Post journalist who served as the newspaper's Baghdad bureau chief for approximately two years. In his first book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, the author writes about the highly secure, walled-off headquarters for U.S. authorities operating in Iraq. In addition to numerous anecdotes about life inside the Green Zone—which reveal an American leadership far out of touch with life outside the Green Zone—the author examines the Iraqi War and provides his analysis of how numerous mistakes and general overall inexperience led the United States to commit many errors in the first year of occupation. These mistakes, according to the author, have probably doomed the undertaking to failure. Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, called Imperial Life in the Emerald City "a devastating indictment of the post-invasion failures of the Bush administration." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that as a result of the author's "personal touches" in writing about everyday life in the Green Zone, his "account of the [the occupation's] … failures never feels heavy-handed." Writing in the Buffalo News, Andrew Z. Galarneau commented that the author's "book stands out" among the many works published about Iraq. Galarneau added: "Its evenhanded portraits of people and places inside the Green Zone allow the reader to follow the genesis of America's own heart of darkness."



American Journalism Review, December, 2004, Natalie Pompilio, "Back from the Rajiv Palace: The Washington Post's former Baghdad Bureau Chief Reflects on an Action-Packed 18 Months in Iraq," p. 12.

America's Intelligence Wire, December 29, 2003, Greta Van Susteren, "Interview with Washington Post Baghdad Bureau Chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran."

Booklist, October 15, 2006, Jay Freeman, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, p. 18.

Buffalo News, October 1, 2006, Andrew Z. Galarneau, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City.

Entertainment Weekly, November 3, 2006, Gilbert Cruz, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, p. 82.

Middle East Journal, autumn, 2006, Barbara K Bodine, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, p. 797.

New York Times, October 13, 2006, Michiko Kakutani, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, p. E29.

Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2006, review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, p. 48.


Association of Military Journalists Web site, (December 19, 2006), brief biography of Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran Home Page, (December 19, 2006).