MADISON – Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” the best-selling account of the botched U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq, will deliver the annual Ralph O. and Monona H. Nafziger Lecture on Wednesday,  Oct. 17.

The free public lecture, “Iraq’s Elusive Peace: A Reporter’s View from Inside the Green Zone,” will be held at 5 p.m. in the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.  The Nafziger lecture series is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Chandrasekaran , currently national editor of The Washington Post, served as the Post’s Baghdad bureau chief from April 2003 to October 2004. He lived in Iraq for much of the six months before the war broke out, reporting on the United Nations weapons inspection efforts and the run-up to the conflict. He also served as the newspaper’s bureau chief in Cairo.

His book won the Overseas Press Club Book Award, the Ron Ridenhour Prize, and Great Britain’s Samuel Johnson Prize. The New York Times called his book  “eyewitness history of the first order.”

“Rajiv’s coverage of post-war Iraq, and especially the Coalition Provisional Authority, gave us both breadth and depth,” says Kathleen Bartzen Culver, a journalism and mass communication faculty member and the school’s constituent relations chair. “The detail in his book is impressive, but he never loses sight of the overarching themes, of the massive and lasting impact of decisions.”

The Nafziger Lecture, named for a longtime director of the school and his wife, is made possible through the support of alumni, friends and the Nafziger family.