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.

894-Comey-100

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".

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".

Recommended

Theatre review: The Visit
Films

Theatre review: The Visit

Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Swiss classic The Visit, transported to 1950s America, poses the question: how much would you kill for?
28 Feb 2020
Six contrarian books for Christmas
Films

Six contrarian books for Christmas

Merryn Somerset Webb picks six of her favourite contrarian books to help you look clever and perhaps win a few arguments over the Christmas dinner tab…
9 Dec 2019
Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up
Books

Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up

Whether you’re going on a staycation (or even an actual holiday) or remaining holed up at home. Merryn Somerset Webb has four perfect books to educate…
6 Jul 2020

Most Popular

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?
Sponsored

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?

In his recent articles looking at different aspects of the fixed-income investing world, David Stevenson looked at inflation. Today he looks at a clos…
19 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020