Book in the news: riveting bestseller exposes the real Trump

Book review: A Higher LoyaltyJames Comey is an occasionally cloying companion, albeit one with quite a story to tell.


Published by Macmillan, £20

Buy at Amazon

The controversial book by James Comey, the man who US president Donald Trump fired as FBI director, "is really three different books in one", says Garrett Graff in Rolling Stone.It's "a meditation on ethical leadership, a traditional memoir of a senior public servant, and an exposition of Trump's presidency".

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

And what a "sickly, sanctimonious, self-reverential piece of work" it is, says Justin Webb in The Times. Having "handed Trump the presidency on a platter" by his last-minute revelations about Hillary Clinton's emails, Comey has evidently decided that he is "going to expiate his Clinton sin by foaming at the mouth against Trump".

Given the behaviour of past presidents, Comey "does himself no favours with his prissiness" when it comes to allegations of Trump's extra-marital trysts. However, the worst weakness is that "only a third of the book is really up-to-date stuff" about the current presidency, with the remainder about Comey's FBI's career.

Comey is "an occasionally cloying companion", agrees Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. But he "has quite a story to tell and that's even before we get to the Clinton and Trump chapters that have made this book an instant best-seller" those are "riveting". The author "has a keen eye and his observations of Trump and his enablers are sharp". In all, Comey's "self-righteous" attitude looks "like a rather tolerable vice", especially "given the alternatives".

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri