As the former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post, Rajiv Chandrasekaran escorts the reader into the Green Zone - a bubble of surreal Americana. Its a walled-off enclave of towering plants, posh villas, and sparkling swimming pools that remains the headquarters for the American occupation of Iraq. Cut off from wartime realities, the monumental task of reconstructing a devastated nation competes with the more sybaritic distractions of life in this Little-America on the Tigris. Chandrasekaran describes the bars stocked with cold beer, a disco where women dance in hot pants, a cinema that screens shoot-’em-up films, the all-you-could-eat buffet piled high with pork, a shopping mall that sells porn, a car park filled with shiny new SUVs, and a dry-cleaning service. Most Iraqis are barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it up. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and internal documents, Chandrasekaran brings to light a remarkable array of insights into the nature of the American occupation.