“An important personal perspective is now provided by Eric Fair’s candid and chilling new book, Consequence, which is at once an agonized confession of his own complicity as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib and an indictment of the system that enabled and tried to justify torture . . . [A] profoundly unsettling book.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
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, 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, 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 his desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, 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.
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.
Consequence has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:
Ethical Culture Fieldston Upper School (NY)
Beyond the Book
Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook!