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A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and…
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A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: James Comey (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,0805913,873 (4.06)42
Former FBI director James Comey shares his experiences from his two decades in government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an entry into the corridors of power and a 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 as 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.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:PhilinDallas
Teoksen nimi:A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
Kirjailijat:James Comey (Tekijä)
Info:Flatiron Books (2018), Edition: First Edition, 312 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (tekijä: James Comey)

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englanti (57)  saksa (1)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (59)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 59) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Comey is either a talented writer or he had one hell of an editor - perhaps both. Clearly a man who reads and who has thought about what he has read. When your readers all know the ending as well as a lot of what happened in the middle, it must be tough to write a story that will keep them reading, but he pulls it off. Graceful, vivid writing; good eye for detail; pleasantly leavened with some self-deprecating humor; and sharp portraits of people we know something about, but with added personal detail or anecdote that brings them to life. (Such as: Bob Mueller's reputation at the FBI was such that when he had knee surgery, rumor was he had declined anesthesia in favor of a leather strap to bite on. Mueller also wore a white dress shirt every single day for the twelve years of his tenure as FBI director. On Comey's first day, he wore a blue shirt. And you bet, people noticed.) Some may remember the infamous confrontation when Dick Cheney's minions tried to bully Attorney General John Ashcroft into signing off on allowing torture of prisoners, when Ashcroft was critically ill in a hospital intensive care unit. Ashcroft memorably heaved himself up in bed and told them in no uncertain terms he would do no such thing. Comey adds that as the minions stormed out of the room, Ashcroft's wife "scrunched her face and stuck her tongue out at them."

So he's a good storyteller. And a generous one: he seems to like everyone. He lauds bosses whom he admired and who set examples for what a good boss should be. He praises and thanks many, many colleagues by name for their smarts, talents, and hard work. He is grateful to his sharp, loyal wife.

And then there's Hillary Clinton - who it appears he has still never actually met. He gives us a detailed, careful exposition of what happened when, who knew what when, and how certain decisions (you know the ones I mean) were made and why. And took a hell of a beating for them. He freely admits that others might have made different decisions, also for good reasons, but sticks by what he did and explains why - in understandable legal terms - Hillary's email cluelessness did not add up to criminal conduct in the eyes of a very large group of experienced, knowledgeable people who worked the issue over six ways from Sunday.

And then there's Trump. Much has been made of one paragraph in which he describes Trump's physical appearance in unflatteringd terms. But let's face it: if you were to meet Trump in person for the first time, can anyone honestly say they would NOT peer at the hair and the hands? The encounters are creepy and scary, and it is no wonder it ended as it did. I hope he feels ultimately he escaped a worse nightmare.

The turnover rate of employees at the FBI is 0.5%. Comey is smart, thoughtful, and a damn good writer. He seems to treat colleagues with a generous spirit. Maybe a little smug? A little bit of a prig who likes to expound on his personal quest for virtue? Yeah, but isn't it a little refreshing to hear from someone who aspires to find what the "right" thing is and then try to do it? ( )
1 ääni JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
This was a good account by James Comey of his career and involvement with some pretty contentious issues. I have no way to be particularly certain of the truth conveyed, but it was well presented and seemed internally consistent. He seems like a reasonable person who was involved in some unfortunate no-win situations, although it also seems like he sought out some of it, particularly earlier in his career. He did seem to have a deep respect for President Obama and unease with President Trump, and the "pee tape" does seem more believable based on Comey's account of meetings with Trump, but I think that tape is a relatively minor issue.

My favorite part was the "race to the hospital" in the Stellar Wind situation; I'm concerned that Comey is anti-encryption (like the FBI generally has been), but at least in that case he stood up for individual rights vs. the government. There was only one really new fact in the book for me -- that there existed classified intelligence (about unverified third party reports) about the Loretta Lynch's involvement in the Clinton email drama known to the government before the election.

There probably won't be a truly objective account of these incidents for a long time, and this book will definitely be a primary source for the ultimate definitive account. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
After reading Fire and Fury, I must say that this book was refreshing. Whatever else Comey is, he at least is educated, organized, and articulate. This was a breeze to read. It felt like, rather than the rush job that was Fire and Fury, this book was started with those first memos.

This is The Beautification of Comey, by Comey. There's nothing new here in terms of insight into the investigations, campaign, or his relatively brief time in office with Trump. He makes a point to talk up how much he liked and respected Obama but it really feels tacked on, one part to placate Hillary supporters (e.g. "See, I can like a Democrat!") and one part to indirectly insult Trump through comparison. He makes sure to trot out how liberal his wife and daughter are, "I can't be biased, I know liberals! I married one and I let my daughter be one!"

The tone of the book is sanctimonious and patronizing. He urges leaders to self-critique and admit mistakes but takes care to walk out how everything he did was the pinnacle of ethics and leadership. I did follow his arguments and tried to see things from his point of view, and I acknowledge it was a shitty situation all around. He challenged me but I don't think he convinced me. I feel more sympathy for him, but I don't agree with how he handled situations. He lays out how he took hard stances, said the hard things....and then his spine deflated when it was Trump and his party. He ultimately comes off as a coward that was willing to play semantics games with Trump (e.g., "I said HONEST loyalty, not PERSONAL loyalty!") to keep his job, rather than stand up for ethical leadership more staunchly.

Do I think he deliberately did what he did to hurt Hillary? No. Do I think he took pains to be even handed? Absolutely not. He seemed to care more about emails than about foreign interference. He was, perhaps, inadvertently or accidentally biased, but biased nonetheless. He is so up his own ass about how unbiased he must be it makes me question if he was able to accurately view his behavior for bias. Of particular note was his line about how both Hillary and Trump were flawed, as if they were equally unqualified for office....even after multiple investigations exonerated her! Ultimately he supported a party that made a Trump presidency possible, and my only solace while reading the awful things Trump did (and continues to do) was knowing that Comey suffered for it, too. ( )
  kaitlynn_g | Dec 13, 2020 |
Boy Scout among the Wolves
Review of the Flatiron Books hardcover edition (2018)

A Higher Loyalty is currently (as of late November 2020) the 4th most top voted book in the Trump Tell-alls List on Goodreads, which has the somewhat shocking current total of 225 books. The list is likely going to increase by 100+ with the Trump era ending and many retrospectives and memoirs yet to be written and published.

A Higher Loyalty is actually a memoir of James Comey's overall life in American public service including the years spent in the U.S. Attorney's office in New York City and the Department of Justice even before his 2013 appointment as FBI Director by President Barack Obama. It thus covers prosecutions such as those of the American Mafia but also Martha Stewart's insider trading. The Clinton and Trump section is only the end half of the book. The Mafia sections are indicative though as they take pains to detail the self-delusional "men of honour" who vows oaths of loyalty to their "thing." Comey doesn't mention it explicitly, but you know it will come up later in the book when he is asked for similar loyalty by President Trump.

I enjoyed A Higher Loyalty especially for the personal insights and anecdotes that Comey gives about both his private and public life. Several of my favourite passages are quoted below. The only fault that I could find was that Comey is disingenuous about the anti-Trump sentiments of FBI Agent Peter Strozk and FBI Lawyer Lisa Page who were both on his Clinton Email Investigation team. Comey constantly stresses the need for the FBI's independence and non-partisanship in its investigations but does not even mention those two obvious never-Trump partisans by name.

The stuff that gets me the most is the claim that I am in love with my own righteousness, my own virtue. I have long worried about my ego. I am proud of the fact that I try to do the right thing. I am proud of the fact that I try to be truthful and transparent. I do think my way is better than that of the lying partisans who crowd our public life today. But there is danger that all that pride can make me blind and closed off to other views of what the right thing is. - excerpt from pg. 206 of A Higher Loyalty
Speaking uphill takes courage. It takes overcoming a universal human affliction – the impostor complex. All of us labor, to one degree or another, under the belief that if other people really knew us, if they knew us the way we know ourselves, they would think less of us. That’s the impostor complex – the fear that by showing ourselves we will be exposed as the flawed person we are. If you don’t have this, in some measure, you are an incredible jerk and should stop reading immediately. - excerpt from pg. 138 of A Higher Loyalty
Until I met my wife, I didn’t know that listening really was. Neither, at least in my experience, do most people in Washington, D.C. To them, listening is a period of silence, where someone else talks before you say what you were planning to say all along. … My marriage has taught me that what I thought of as listening really isn’t listening, either. Like a lot of people, I thought that listening involved sitting silently as someone else talked, and then perceiving what they say. I was wrong. True listening is actually that period of silence and allowing someone’s words to reach your conscious brain, but it also includes something else that’s a little weird: with your posture, your face, and your sounds, you signal to someone, “I want what you have, I need to know what you know, and I want you to keep telling me the things you’re telling me.” … They’re listening to each other in a way where each is both pushing information to the other and pulling information out of the other. Push, pull, push, pull. When they are really connecting, it actually runs together – pushpullpushpull. That’s real listening. - excerpt from pgs. 146-147 of A Higher Loyalty

I read A Higher Loyalty as part of my reading survey of various books in relation to the 2020 American Election. As a Canadian, I’ve generally ignored American politics and elections in past years, but the drama of the situation in 2020 has heightened my interest.

Trivia and Link
A Higher Loyalty was adapted into a 2-part TV mini-series titled The Comey Rule (Showtime, September 2020) by screenwriter/director Billy Ray with actor Jeff Daniels as James Comey and actor Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump. The trailer for the series can be viewed here. ( )
  alanteder | Nov 28, 2020 |
Having lived through this time, and a little bit from the inside, the details laid out by Comey finally shed a much needed light on his tumultuous tenure. That his reputation has suffered owes nothing to his own moral center, and everything to the hateful political divide in the country. Does he have an ego? Well, yeah - but it's hard to lead without one. The question is whether he's self-aware enough to temper it with good leadership. And the answer to that is also, most definitely, yes. Whatever side of the divide you're on, if you come away from the book with anything short of admiration, you need an internal re-boot. Comey is my homie! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Nov 25, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 59) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In the copious literature of the US capital, there is a sub-genre we might call "the saint in the swamp". It focuses on the travails of an honest man sent to wade through the muck and slime of America’s political Babylon. The exemplar is, of course, the 1939 classic film Mr Smith Goes to Washington, with Jimmy Stewart as the lone man of integrity on the Potomac. But the archetype recurs at intervals in the culture, with the West Wing's Jed Bartlet a more recent incarnation. And now we can add a new, non-fiction addition: the memoir of James Comey, the FBI director fired a year ago by Donald Trump.

[...] In Comey's telling, Obama was something of a saint in the swamp. Obama valued what Comey himself cherished and regarded as near-sacred: the independence of US institutions and, more important still, the obligation to tell the truth.

There was a time when we might have teased such a man, mocking him as an earnest altar boy. But we don't have that luxury now. In today's world, truth has become a precious commodity and those ready to risk their careers to defend it are few and far between. Comey may be self-righteous, but in 2018 and given the alternatives, that has come to look like a rather tolerable vice.
 
They (Comey, Trump) are as antipodean as the untethered, sybaritic Al Capone and the square, diligent G-man Eliot Ness in Brian De Palma's 1987 movie "The Untouchables" ; ot the vengeful outlaw Frank Miller and Gary Cooper's stoic, duty-driven marshal Will Kane in Fred Zimmerman's 1952 classic "High Noon."
lisäsi LaRoque | muokkaaThe New York Times Book Review, Michiko Kakutani (maksullinen sivusto) (Apr 15, 2018)
 

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James Comeyensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
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To my former colleagues, the career people of the Department
of Justice and the FBI, whose lasting commitment to truth
keeps our country great
Ensimmäiset sanat
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Who am I to tell others what ethical leadership is? (Author's Note)
There are ten blocks between FBI headquarters and Capitol Hill, and each of them is fixed in my memory from countless shuttle missions up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. (Introduction)
The life begins with a lie.
I am writing in a time of great anxiety in my country. (Epilogue)
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Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
 - Reinhold Niebuhr
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Former FBI director James Comey shares his experiences from his two decades in government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an entry into the corridors of power and a 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 as 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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