A searing indictment of how President Barack Obama’s 2009 Afghanistan surge was carried out. . . . Solid and timely reporting, crackling prose, and more than a little controversy will make this one of the summer’s hot reads.”—Publishers Weekly starred review

Rather than offering first-person journalistic bombast, Chandrasekaran is to be credited for standing in the background and letting his characters speak. His evident wish for US success and admiration for some of those trying to achieve it make his analysis all the more compelling.”—Financial Times

Chandrasekaran’s book is valuable because it gathers the various strands of the war and provides new insight. A wealth of detail gives it authenticity and gravity.”—The Washington Post

This is a reporter’s account of America’s longest war, and only a journalist with Chandrasekaran’s experience and skill could tell this extraordinarily complicated story with such depressing clarity. He describes with sincere appreciation the service and sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of Americans, military and civilians, who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, but he does not shy away from pointing out their shortcomings. Indeed, it is his meticulous evenhandedness throughout the book that makes the impassioned conclusion so undeniable: ‘For years, we dwelled on the limitations of the Afghans. We should have focused on ours.’”—Newsday

Little America is an apt title for this comprehensive, perceptive and detailed work. It is the second book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, among the best of those brave, clever, and assiduous reporters that American journalism seems to produce in such happy abundance. . . . Little America is powerful and important and should be read by anyone interested in this ongoing and deeply depressing war.”—The Guardian

As he showed in his first book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the prize-winning account of life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Chandrasekaran has a fine eye for the absurd parallel universe of the cosseted control centres of modern American warfare. His new book may lack some of the black comedy of the first, but as an examination of the follies and failings of American decision-making it is second to none.”—The Telegraph

Mr. Chandrasekaran is a superb reporter and graceful writer whose individual vignettes, focused on military and civilian misfires, are on-target and often mortifying.”—The Wall Street Journal

Interesting and informative . . . with vivid firsthand anecdotes . . . a rich behind-the-scenes accounting of efforts by President Obama and his aides to keep the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan.”—The Washington Times

A sobering look at what went wrong. . . . Chandrasekaran’s book should make any politician who seeks to involve us in another Middle East war think twice.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

For those who still have a taste for understanding the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, still costing an arm and a leg and American lives, as opposed to those who have heard all that they ever wanted to know about Afghanistan and can only await the news of final U.S. total withdrawal from there, this book is enormously informative and very readable. I didn’t put it down during a six-hour foodless flight across the country.”—The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Trying to figure out the strategies behind what is happening in Afghanistan? Start reading. ‘Little America’ clearly and convincingly explains the many misguided and misinformed operations and intentions – and some achievements – in the 11-year-old war.”—Military Times

If ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City’ felt at times as if it were written in shocked all-caps, ‘Little America’ is more nuanced and complicated (which might be a shorthand way of describing the Bush and Obama administrations, respectively). But it’s equally cautionary. . . . Let’s just hope ‘Little America’ finds its way onto the summer reading list of U.S. politicians, who will be spending the next several months making a lot of promises.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

We will add additional reviews as they become available.

  • About Rajiv

    Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post.

    From 2009 to 2011, he reported on the war in Afghanistan for The Post, traveling extensively through the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar to reveal the impact of President Obama’s decision to double U.S. force levels.

    • About Rajiv ›

  • Also by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City

    The fullest, most intimate account of life in the Green Zone, the sheltered bubble where idealistic Americans planned the occupation while Iraq fell apart.

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