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What the critics are saying about James Comey's 'A Higher Loyalty'

Former FBI Director James Comey promotes his book,

Former FBI Director James Comey promotes his book, "A Higher Loyalty," at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York on April 18. Credit: Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Political books are flying off the bookshelves this season, from Hillary Clinton’s campaign retrospective, “What Happened,” to Michael Wolff’s gossipy White House expose, “Fire and Fury.” But no title has been hotter than “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” (Flatiron, $29.99), the memoir by former FBI Director James Comey that is currently Number 2 on the Publishers Weekly nonfiction bestseller list.

Comey will be speaking to the Long Island Association in Woodbury on May 15.

In the book, Comey tells his side of the story — from his inquiry into the Clinton emails to his firing by President Donald Trump. Here is a sampling of what critics around the country have said about the book.

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times:

“The volume offers little in the way of hard news revelations about investigations by the F.B.I. or the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III . . .‘A Higher Loyalty’ does give readers are some near-cinematic accounts of what Comey was thinking when, as he’s previously said, Trump demanded loyalty from him during a one-on-one dinner at the White House . . .Comey is what Saul Bellow called a ‘first-class noticer.’ ”

Carlos Lozada in The Washington Post:

“Comey . . . does provide lots of scenes, backstory and details, many of which have been exhaustively reported in the frenzy surrounding the book’s coming publication. It’s hard for Comey to make hard news with this book; the territory has been so well covered by copious reporting on his memos and his congressional testimony. Whatever we learn about Trump here emerges from Comey’s personal impressions and first-person anecdotes.”

John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle

“A Higher Loyalty” leaves no doubt that James Comey is a leader who is willing to resign to do what he perceives as right. His critics will dismiss him as sanctimonious, but he reveals some of the emotional scars that helped build that fortitude . . . comes across in the book as introspective, humane and humble — and believable."

Ron Elving on

“’A Higher Loyalty,’ by far the most consequential book yet in the literature of the Trump presidency, is arriving as political conflict roils every aspect of that presidency. Former FBI Director James Comey's scathing review will not settle the arguments about President Trump, nor will it calm the controversy over its author. But it will furnish mountains of ammunition for combatants on all sides.” 

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