Review: A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

A Higher Loyalty

I couldn’t wait to read the book written by the ex – FBI director, James Comey. His book, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership published by Flat Iron Books is not a literary masterpiece. Perhaps I assumed a seasoned lawyer would have a better flair for writing, but Mr. Comey’s writing style is more like a writing assignment for a college creative writing class. And he often repeats phrases like “fully armored black suburban.” I can only imagine his memos he wrote on his interactions with President Trump were written in this same way as though he were writing in a journal.

A Higher Loyalty

If the reader can get past his writing style, the book is worth the time and effort because the reader will undoubtedly learn interesting facts as I did on government protocol and certainly about the atmosphere inside the White House and the justice department. And if the reader only read or watched recent television interviews with Mr. Comey from his book tour, the reader would believe this book is all about President Trump. Mr. Comey lays out his case as though preparing for a trial on how he came to make decisions throughout his life and those in which may have ultimately led to his being fired as Director of the FBI.

James Comey – The bullied and the bully

Mr. Comey talks about his childhood and what led him to becoming a lawyer. I found myself weaving in and out of feeling sorry for him and being irritated at the same time about his portrayal of being bullied. But if the reader just sticks with him as he plods along they will soon find insightful nuggets into Mr. Comey’s personality, and as in the book’s title, his perspective on loyalty, truth, lies and leadership.

“I was never going to surrender to a group again simply because it was easy. And I was going to make sure my life had some meaning, because I’d already seen how fleeting life could be.” P.39

Leadership

Throughout the book Mr. Comey shares with the reader the people in his life who he saw as the leaders he would try to emulate and what he believes a leader should be. Other readers may come away from reading this book and surmise that Mr. Comey believes he is an example of a good leader. Again, I too felt this push-pull of my sympathies being played. He takes the reader through an exhausting ride both literally and figuratively on his way to becoming the FBI Director. Time and time again the reader will hear Mr. Comey remind those around him in Washington that the FBI must remain totally independent entity from the White House.

Truth and Lies

My hope, as I read A Higher Loyalty, is that the average American like myself would read Mr. Comey’s book. In laying out his case, particularly when it comes to the Trump and Clinton campaigns for the presidency, Mr. Comey provides non-classified details of the Clinton email and private server debacle and what would later would become known as the Russian investigation. It is fascinating to read the ex-FBI Director’s account of a no-win situation for the him and the justice department.

I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an Independent but no matter what side of the aisle you sit, I found reading about the demeanor of politicians and the names everyone will recognize an eye-opener. I was not surprised by some of the revelations and it may not have been necessary to detail people’s personal apparel and appearances or even that President Trump looked orange with white circles under eyes or even whether his hair is real, but take it for what Mr. Comey now admits as simply “an author trying to make the narrative interesting” as he has stated in interviews.

Mr. Comey’s description of his interactions with President Trump is the same behavior the American public has seen on television and in the President’s tweets on Twitter. By the end of the book, the reader will decide whether there was any justification in his firing as FBI director.

A Higher Loyalty

I found Mr. Comey to be honest, forthcoming about his own frailties and failings. (There are humorous parts in the book, but at times it feels like an inside joke and only he is on the inside.) He is a man committed to his values and I do believe him when he writes,

“The core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington – to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to remain optimistic.”

The second to last sentence may sound like a fired employee’s bitterness but after reading the book, the reader may believe differently. I still have many questions for Mr. Comey on truth, lies and leadership. I would love to have him and his wife, Patrice for dinner (although I would probably pee a little if he called to confirm). Perhaps I can even help recommend a few things for his next book and also persuade Patrice to write a book too.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction Politics & Social Sciences, Nonfiction
Politics & Social Sciences

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadershipwritten by James Comey earns a 4 hoot rating based on content and effort.

4 hoot rating

Happy Reading!

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The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

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