About the Book  •  Praise  •  Interviews  •  About the Author  •  Excerpt  •  

“I tell Karin there will be consequences for making my Iraq experience public.

I say, ‘People aren’t going to be happy.’

She says, ‘As long as you think it’s the right thing to do.’”

Eric Fair, from Consequence

Consequence by Eric Fair

Consequence by Eric Fair

“An act of incredible bravery... (a story) we desperately need to hear.”

—Phil Klay

“This remarkable book is both an agonized confession and a chilling expose of one of the darkest interludes of the War on Terror. Only this kind of courage and honesty can bring America back to the democratic values that we are so rightfully proud of.”

—Sebastian Junger

“A glimpse into the inner workings of someone who has been at the center of some of the most vexing issues of the past decade... Artful, understated, surprising... We have read a lot about war lately, but we have never read anything like this.”

—Nick Flynn

Eric Fair

© Amy Cramer

About the Book

Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Eric Fair's nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as "enhanced interrogation," it is Fair's desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair's memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.

Additional Praise for Consequence

“Essential reading... This book is an overdue reckoning... No other book guides readers so honestly and so succinctly through this grim chapter in U.S. history.”

The Washington Post

“I don’t think Eric Fair writes so we might laud him for courage or artistry. The complex reckoning within these pages mirrors our wars, which have been fought in a similar, gray morality. So this book deserves that singular and highest of compliments: It is honest.”

—Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue

“Startling... affecting... candid and deeply unsettling... Eschewing abstract discussions of torture and the war, the author offers a beguiling personal narrative that forces readers to share his pain and uncertainty over his circumstances... Told against the background of his failing heart (he required a transplant), his failing hometown (Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt), and his war-strained marriage... [Fair’s story] points up the larger failures of interrogators like himself to prevent abusive acts and of the country to end its endorsement of torture.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Eric Fair writes hauntingly and sparingly... This book is an important step for our country, in coming to terms with the reality of what we did, and what Eric and others did in our name.”

—Scott Cooper, National Security Outreach Director at Human Rights First

“In Eric Fair’s earth-shaking memoir, Consequence, we hear a profoundly courageous, essential voice of personal and national accountability.”

—Kelle Groom, author of I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

“The story of Eric Fair’s headlong plunge into this ‘nightmare in Iraq’ and its aftermath remains with the reader long after the last page, as we consider the ethical consequences not only for Eric’s own life but for all citizens with any sort of conscience.”

—Kelly Denton-Borhaug, Ph.D., author of U.S. War-Culture, Sacrifice and Salvation

“A harrowing and thought-provoking read, a book that we believe will spark discussion nationwide.”

—Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Selection Committee


Eric Fair discusses Consequence with Phil Klay

About Eric Fair

Eric Fair, an Army veteran, worked in Iraq as a contract interrogator in 2004. He won a Pushcart prize for his 2012 essay “Consequence,” which was published first in Ploughshares and then in Harper’s Magazine. His op-eds on interrogation have also been published in The Washington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Read a Q&A with Eric Fair

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