‘Tipping point in history’: NYT reviews new James Comey book revealing 'untethered to truth' president
FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office on September 17, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza

The "very persuasive" forthcoming book by former FBI Director James Comey was featured Thursday in The New York Times book review.


"The central themes that Comey returns to throughout this impassioned book are the toxic consequences of lying; and the corrosive effects of choosing loyalty to an individual over truth and the rule of law," Michiko Kabutani wrote in the review of the book, A Higher Loyalty.

"Comey’s book fleshes out the testimony he gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 with considerable emotional detail, and it showcases its author’s gift for narrative — a skill he clearly honed during his days as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York," The Times noted.

The review also focused on how the public will evaluate the credibility of competing claims of the former FBI Director and President Donald Trump.

"One uses language incoherently on Twitter and in person, emitting a relentless stream of lies, insults, boasts, dog-whistles, divisive appeals to anger and fear, and attacks on institutions, individuals, companies, religions, countries, continents," the review reminded. "The other chooses his words carefully to make sure there is “no fuzz” to what he is saying, someone so self-conscious about his reputation as a person of integrity that when he gave his colleague James R. Clapper, then director of national intelligence, a tie decorated with little martini glasses, he made sure to tell him it was a regift from his brother-in-law."

The book also revealed some of the passages from the book.

“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” Comey wrote. “His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”

“We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded," he continued.

And Comey explained how he interpreted the fact he never saw Trump laugh came from his “deep insecurity, his inability to be vulnerable or to risk himself by appreciating the humor of others, which, on reflection, is really very sad in a leader, and a little scary in a president.”

The review also tried to predict how the book -- and its author -- will be remembered.

"It’s ironic that Comey, who wanted to shield the F.B.I. from politics, should have ended up putting the bureau in the midst of the 2016 election firestorm; just as it’s ironic (and oddly fitting) that a civil servant who has prided himself on being apolitical and independent should find himself reviled by both Trump and Clinton, and thrust into the center of another tipping point in history," the review concluded.