Chandrasekaran of ‘Wash Post’ Earns National Book Award Nod

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By: E&P Staff

His recently published book on life inside the “Green Zone” in Baghdad has earned Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post one of the coveted five finalists spots for a National Book Award for nonfiction, it was announced Wednesday.

Chandrasekaran was the Post’s bureau chief in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004 and is now assistant managing editor for continuous news.
His book is “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone.”

“The real challenge,” Chandrasekaran told the Post, “was to write something about a conflict that’s still going on and that would also be timeless and take people to a place they haven’t been.” He said he wanted “to use the Green Zone to tell the broader story of American folly in Iraq” and to examine “the disconnect between the American occupation headquarters and the rest of Iraq.”

Chandrasekaran added that he also tried to explorethe selection of personnel assigned to the occupation administration, which was based in many cases on “political connection and loyalty instead of experience in post-conflict reconstruction.”

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