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on June 4, 2018
A HIGHER LOYALTY: TRUTH, LIES, AND LEADERSHIP (2018) by James Comey

This is an excellent book and most readers regardless of political view will come away with high respect for James Comey.

He is self-aware. His first sentence acknowledges the risk of seeming sanctimonious or vain. He tells several humiliating stories on himself of cowardice or lying, which still embarrass him and remind him what kind of man he wants to be. He credits people he worked for who showed him what good leadership is.

He feels the need to speak against self-certainty, disdain for fact and truth, unethical conduct, too prevalent in America at this time. "The higher loyalty is to lasting values, most important the truth." (xii)

He was influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian and philosopher, while he was a pre-med student, and chose to become a lawyer as the best way to promote justice. Pundits who mock his reference to Niebuhr are expressing the American habit of anti-intellectualism.

His story of New York law enforcement against the mafia is informative and central to his view of the value of truth and justice in government and business where mafia values are too common. He makes a brilliant defense of the pursuit of justice--it repudiates submission to suffering as "the will of God."

His interesting account of his career, including the prosecutions of Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby in the face of strong criticism, aren't self-praise but teach lessons in truth-seeking essential to the rule of law. His story of the confrontation between Justice and the President's men in Ashcroft's hospital room made me stand up and salute. His conflicts as Deputy Attorney General with the Bush administration over surveillance and torture helps to explain current animus against him among some Republicans.

He offers important illustrations of the dangerous effects of confirmation bias in leaders who lack the ability to ask 'what am I missing, tell me if I am wrong."

Very credible to me is his story of interactions with Hillary Clinton -- his five months as a junior attorney for the Senate Whitewater investigation, his pursuit of the fugitive Marc Rich, his investigation whether Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich was a corrupt bargain, and his actions during the investigation of Clinton's emails, of which he says misinformation was widespread as partisans on both sides wished to discredit the FBI.

He had several bizarre encounters with Trump, which he recorded in detail -- something he had never done with other leaders. His report rings true and his analysis of Trump's character is devastating. Comey is optimistic that after the Trump forest fire American society will re-grow on its lasting values.
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on June 23, 2018
James Comey's book about A Higher Loyalty should be read together with the June 2018 report by the Department of Justice Inspector General, Horowitz -- which found Comey's actions to independently brief Congress in contravention of DOJ policy and practice to be extraordinary and insubordination. The IG also faulted Attorney General Lynch and her senior staff for lack of judgment in this process. Comey took this criticism with grace...One of the things that struck me throughout Comey's book was his focus on La Cosa Nostra, "This Thing of Ours," the Mafia, and its insistence on loyalty and the Boss -- with suggestive parallels and occasionally outright comparisons between the Trump Administration and Mafia crime families. I was also impressed by Comey's accounts of his few meetings with President Obama, a man of integrity, intelligence, and judgment - and as is widely known, a great sense of humor. Obama's successor has not begun to measure up, not in any way.
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on May 19, 2018
What a solid and smart man sharing an inside peak into our fearless leader. I deeply appreciate the clarity of the writing and the ongoing sprinkle of humor onto this slow motion train-wreck of a Presidency.
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on June 16, 2018
Not being American (I live in New Zealand), I usually don't pay much attention to American politics, but when I heard about James Comey being fired last year, my interest spiked significantly. Like millions of others around the globe, the 45th President is pushing America into the spotlight on a regular basis, so it's hard to ignore what is happening there at the moment. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it has been presented in a well balanced manner, devoid of any malice, which for me portrays the kind of man James Comey is. I recommend this book and hope that James writes again.
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on July 9, 2018
I found Comey's book to be quite illuminating and convincing. He spends much of the book citing innumerable examples of the kinds of leadership that molded him in his early days, as well as what makes for an ineffective leader. He explains the Hillary email server controversy in a way that makes perfect sense. He was in a no-win situation and chose the best of a series of horrible decisions and chose to take the heat for these decisions to protect the FBI in the eyes if the American people.

I have met too many people who have dismissed Comey as an ego-driven man, but whike he does admit to struggling with his ego, I came away from this book admiring him for his assessment of his actions. His explanations are not apologies, but cogent arguments backing up his decisions.

I think this book will be seen as a must-read long after the current (Trump) administration is long gone from Washington D.C.
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on May 23, 2018
Our Life experiences shape us into the person that is seen. Comey's story helped me see the man and understand his actions. I am finally at peace with his actions. The environment is so toxic in WA DC that his stances depicted in tbe book did not add to this toxicity. The appointment of a special counsel was and is a good thing that Comey's actions precipitated. I so wanted Hillarry to win. I was so hurt, fightened, and angry when she lost. You, Comey, were a target of my ire until I finished reading your book. Go in peace. My God guide you in paths of righteousness.
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on May 23, 2018
This book is a must-read for all Americans! Not only is it an inspiring book about ethics, morality, and honesty, it is an excellent primer about the structure of our government and why our founding fathers created essential safeguards for a successful democracy. These safeguards are being slowly destroyed by our current president and his cronies. VOTE!!
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on May 24, 2018
It's just what we needed to learn about all the reasons why our democratic system needs to be brought back to reality. Alternative facts, factoids, and any unrealistic methods of propping up a false and failing POTUS need to be challenged and refuted. There is no better person in USA to do that, than Mr. Comey. He has the facts, the skill to collect and store them in ways that are needed for the job. This book was
a quick read for me, as we already had seen many of the facts in our newspapers and TV. I've shared it with friends, and they all say this book is necessary to tell the public of America what really has happened. The current administration is a travesty, and the sooner we all get to work to get rid of it, the better. Both parties need to realize how serious and horrible this change is, and that we have to go to the polls in November to fix it. Just rearranging the "deck chairs" won't do it. We have to make our congress come to grips with the reality that we have very loose canon in the white house, and no matter who leads the congress, that has to change.
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on May 22, 2018
I was hesitant to start this thinking that I wasn't in the mood to hear what I thought would be excuses about Director Comey's conduct during the 2016 election - I was dead wrong! Now I think this book should be mandatory reading (listening) to all high school students! Truly outstanding! Mr. Comey reads his own book and has an excellent voice for this, smooth and well paced. He covers his early youth though his career as an attorney and FBI director which all was well worth listening to. He comes across as a very humble and truthful person (okay, except for the basketball lies!). For those that may have been turned off by his description of the president during private meetings, I found that was perhaps one/one thousand of the entire book and greatly blowing out of proportion by the press. You'll also see for yourself that there was no 'leaking' of his private citizen memo and I have to admit I now find his reasons for the public comments on Ms. Clinton days before the election to be pretty compelling. If you read only one book this year - make sure it's this one; the story of good Americans!
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on June 5, 2018
As much as this book has been politicized, I found it surprisingly light in criticality of the Trump administration. It’s certainly not flattering, but nothing described here is treasonous on behalf of the author. I finished the book relating well to Comey and the FBI leadership team he developed, especially their intense focus on improving diversity, while maintaining integrity and political independence. This of course makes the events surrounding Comey’s firing even more troubling as I view the political machinations of our elected officials. A great read for everyone interested in how our republic should function, and how that ideal meets reality.
2 people found this helpful
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