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A Higher Loyalty
Cover of A Higher Loyalty
A Higher Loyalty
Truth, Lies, and Leadership

In his book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.

In his book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.

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About the Author-
  • On September 4, 2013, James B. Comey was sworn in as the seventh Director of the FBI.
    A Yonkers, New York native, Jim Comey attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Comey returned to New York and joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. There, he took on numerous crimes, most notably Organized Crime in the case of the United States v. John Gambino, et al. Afterwards, Comey became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted the high-profile case that followed the 1996 terrorist attack on the U.S. military's Khobar Towers in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
    Comey returned to New York after 9/11 to become the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. At the end of 2003, he was tapped to be the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ) under then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and moved to the Washington, D.C. area.
    Comey left DOJ in 2005 to serve as General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Five years later, he joined Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment fund, as its General Counsel. In early 2013, Comey became a Lecturer in Law, a Senior Research Scholar, and Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia Law School.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2017

    On November 11, President Donald Trump called former FBI director James Comey a political hack "proven now to be a liar." Comey responded by quoting from an 1855 sermon by the Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon: "If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly." Perhaps this memoir's title is another possible response.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 23, 2018
    The ex-FBI director—whose firing by President Trump, over the FBI's investigation of Russian government interference in the 2016 election, sparked a furor—reopens that case and others in this piercing and candid memoir. Comey revisits conflicts between duty and politics under three presidents: as deputy attorney general, wrangling with the Bush White House over the legality of interrogation procedures such as waterboarding; in a dramatic scene, guarding the hospitalized attorney general John Ashcroft from White House officials' bedside efforts to reauthorize illegal surveillance programs; and overseeing the FBI's probe of Hillary Clinton's emails (he revisits and explains the actions that, it has been claimed, cost her the election). Comey mines his recollections for leadership lessons, with Barack Obama, whom he admires, furnishing the best examples. His damning portrait of Trump, on the other hand, is a study in unethical, off-putting anti-leadership: he likens Trump to a Mafia boss for pressuring him to show personal loyalty and drop the investigation of Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn, cringes at Trump's defensive and crass denials of claims that he consorted with Russian prostitutes, and "desperately tr to erase myself from the president's field of vision” at a gathering to avoid Trump's unpleasant schmoozing. This is a troubling and important account of the clash between power and justice.

  • Kirkus

    Former FBI director Comey, much in the news, reviews his career and speaks his mind about his dismissal."I fully intended to serve as director of the FBI through the year 2023," writes Comey, that year being when his 10-year term, begun under Barack Obama, expired. "What, I wondered, could possibly interfere with that?" The "what" was Donald Trump, who, under investigation for various improprieties committed during his campaign and perhaps after, demanded personal loyalty of Comey and did not receive the required affirmative reply. "Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us an 'amica nostra'--friend of ours," he writes, adverting to time he spent pursuing Mafia figures as a federal prosecutor in New York. As has been well-reported, the author weighs Trump and his colleagues and finds them wanting in every way: "this president is unethical," he charges, "and untethered to truth and institutional values." That president, he adds with a touch of informed speculation, is also bound for greater legal troubles than he has faced thus far. Comey looks back on a long career marked by such signature moments as his uncovering Dick Cheney associate Scooter Libby as the person who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, a matter over which he came under considerable pressure to back off the case, one of the many "exhausting lessons in the importance of institutional loyalty over expediency and politics" that he would learn in service to three administrations. Along the way, aside from a couple of personal digs at Trump's clothing style and hand size, Comey serves up some well-observed remarks on the qualities of a successful leader, including humor, "accurate feedback" and pushing for improvement, especially self-improvement--again, all matters in which the current occupant of the White House falls short. Not all the book will be convincing, especially to supporters of Trump's opponent, whose campaign suffered a tremendous blow when Comey announced that she, too, was under investigation.A modest, soft-spoken book that is sure to enrage its chief subject.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

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