Your audiobook is waiting…

A Higher Loyalty

Truth, Lies, and Leadership
Narrated by: James Comey
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (23,582 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In his audiobook, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power and a remarkable 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 US attorney for the Southern District of New York and the US 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 and overseeing the Hillary Clinton email 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.  

©2018 James Comey (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Comey's conversational tone instantly connects with the listener, and hearing him deliver the book's highly charged contents in his own voice brings authenticity and immediacy to the presentation...This greatly anticipated, revelatory memoir needs to be heard." (AudioFile)

"It was essential that Comey himself narrate this book, not only because his absence would have distracted listeners familiar with his voice but also because only the author could credibly convey the range of raw emotions emanating from the experiences he shares from this most eventful of lives." - Booklist, Starred Review

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19,738
  • 4 Stars
    3,012
  • 3 Stars
    578
  • 2 Stars
    134
  • 1 Stars
    120

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18,402
  • 4 Stars
    2,466
  • 3 Stars
    508
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    80

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17,913
  • 4 Stars
    2,686
  • 3 Stars
    565
  • 2 Stars
    144
  • 1 Stars
    121
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done!

Although I disagree with how Mr. Comey handled the press in the Clinton matter. I now understand why and appreciate the honesty and humility of the book. Additionally, I appreciate how simple and understandable the information was given. It really resonated for me that truth is not complicated. However, dishonesty requires great effort to maintain.
Well done!


6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An incredibly honest and compelling book. A must read!

There will be those who listen to or read this book and refuse to believe a word Mr Comey says. Not I. In my opinion, this book is extremely well written by a man who has more integrity and honesty in his pinkie finger than the current administration collectively and the opposition as well. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. There are good people of integrity on both sides and Mr. Comey points this out over and over in his interactions with his colleagues over the the last few decades.

I learned a great deal about how our justice system works and the role of the F.B.I. reading this book.

Some readers will say this account is a case of ‘sour grapes.’ If you think so, you really should read every page of this book. Just leave your political hat on top of the bookshelf and listen/ read as a human being first, a citizen of this planet second and a political supporter last.

At no time does Mr. Comey resort to the kind of childish retorts I just read in yesterday’s morning newspaper by politicians reacting to President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen’s public statement: “I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore. My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything.”

Beneath the photo of the shamed Cohen was a photo showing other politicians (a.k.a. grown men in political leadership positions in our country)with a poster hanging up that read:

“Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.”

Seriously? Is our government still in grade school? Is this the example we want to set for our children? That when someone has been found guilty of a crime, it’s okay to publicly humiliate them? To ridicule another human being with a poster of a mean-spirited nursery rhyme?

Besides, it’s not like we live in a country that prides itself in freedom of speech or anything. Right?

Yes, Cohen lied.

Anyone alive who says they have never lied is a ... never mind.

This book explains how James Comey was asked over and over again to pledge blind loyalty to Trump above his responsibility to uphold the law. He walked away with his integrity intact because he refused to be coerced or bullied into doing the same things Mr. Cohen is now paying for with everything, including his freedom

James Comey’s honest self-appraisal and his ability to hold himself and others accountable to that higher standard despite the tremendous personal cost and loss of the career he loved, encouraged me to examine my own willingness to stand up in the face of bullies and injustice whether in the private work force or our government.

I hope I can meet Mr. Comey one day and thank him for his service to our country and for writing this book.

As an author myself, I’m reminded of Mark Twain’s famous quote (paraphrased) ‘Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.’

This book provides a fascinating insight into the workings of government- not just in this administration but several previous administrations as well.

Prior to reading this book I believed both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama to be honorable men. Having read of Mr. Comey’s interactions with each of them during their presidencies, I still do. This book is not an attack on one party or the other.

James Comey stands for truth, justice and the American way. A higher loyalty indeed.

Jan Anderegg
(Author of the Julu series)


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 04-17-18

More Than Trump: All Comey's Life/Working Years--

Actually, this is a really, really good book by a man who winds up coming off as someone who has walked a fine non-partisan line for a long, long time.
I truly expected to come away from listening to A Higher Loyalty, rolling my eyes. Not because I'm a big Trump fan or anything, but coming so soon after his high-profile firing, I thought it would be bashing and filled with self-sanctimonious tirades. And it's anything but.
Wow. Comey has been through it all: From Martha Stewart, through surveillance and torture programs; from coming from an agency that borders on almost totally white, through keeping a memo authorizing the surveillance of MLK (okayed by Robert Kennedy) as a reminder that that which is not looked at carefully could lead good people far, far astray.
Cheney comes off as hideous, Hillary is a piece of work, Obama could be vastly over-confident but was willing to listen and learn (which surprised Comey; he thought that, coming as an appointment from a Republican president, a Democrat would dislike him grievously).
And yes, there's the utter outrage that happened with the Russians, and quite a bit to do with Trump.
Just don't come into this book thinking it's a vast tell-all about Trump with bashing thrown in for good measure. This is about a kid who avoided bullies (tho' he once joined their ranks to his forever shame), a young man who lost an infant son, a hard worker who tried to give Alberto Gonzales a backbone, somebody who has tried to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the black citizens who are unfairly targeted.
To someone who is raising a red flag about what went on and what continues to go on today. Sprinkled throughout it a touch of ribald language with a heavy dose of humor.
Another reviewer expressed that they couldn't multitask whilst listening to this, and I found that to be true for me as well. I was up all night.

563 of 702 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I hated James Comey until I read this...

I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book because I was pissed off at James Comey. I've got a natural curiosity though, so I decided to go for it. I wanted to hear his side of the story. As a Clinton supporter and one who actually participated in making phone calls to help get her elected, I was in utter disbelief when James Comey released his first statement about Clinton's emails and then pretty much in a rage over his second announcement regarding Anthony Weiner's laptop revelation. I felt and pretty much still do feel that Comey cost Hillary the election. At least his announcements did. NOW, after listening to him read his book, I understand WHY he made those announcements and why he made them when he did. My image of James Comey has completely changed after reading his book. While I'm still pissed at the circumstances that led to his announcements and the timing of them, I'm not pissed at Comey anymore. Instead, I'm amazed and in awe of him. The words I would now use to describe James Comey are: honor, integrity, empathy, great leader and true patriot. And I could go on... I love that he chose to read his own written words because I think I would have had a more difficult time believing them had he elected to let someone else do the reading. I believe these words and I believe this man, which is truly unbelievable to me, considering how I felt about him before. This man is a truly good man and this type of good man is a rare breed! He sacrificed himself for our country, my country, and I couldn't be more grateful. Thank you James Comey, just thank you...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

I didn’t have much of an opinion regarding James Comey before listening. At the end I feel much different. Vastly entertaining, well written, beautifully narrated,surprisingly detailed. This is a great read regardless of your political affiliation.

153 of 194 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, fairly bi-partisan if you're into that.

Great autobiographical introduction leading to a fairly ethical ending, Learned a lot about the Trump organization.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must-listen for every leader and every American

First, Comey is an absolutely exceptional narrator! I've listened to many, many audio books and his narration is right up there with some of the best.

But the subject matter of the book is fascinating. Don't think this is just a referendum on the "e-mails" and Trump. The covers Comey's entire fascinating career and shares lessons learned in critical moments that would test the most seasoned leader. Comey brings great humor and behind the scenes stories to some of the biggest crimes and most relevant current events of our age.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

surprisingly excellent

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book...but it was informative, funny, and wonderful storytelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cariola
  • Chambersburg, PA USA
  • 04-18-18

Not What You're Expecting

After my experience with Fire and Fury, I wasn't sure if I would regret purchasing James Comey's much-anticipated book. I don't. The issue I had with Michael Woolf's book was simply that there were no surprises by the time the cable news networks had done their interviews and discussions. There are no Trump bombshells in Comey's book that haven't also been made public in his testimony or his interview with George Stephanopoulos--but the 2016 election and the Trump presidency make up only the last 20-25% of the book, and the rest is very interesting indeed. A Higher Loyalty is an honest memoir, one that looks back at the events and individuals that shaped the former FBI Director's character and values and his concept of what makes a good leader.

In addressing his childhood, Comey talks about a devastating move from a familiar school and neighborhood (his grandfather had been the local police commissioner) where he had been one of the popular kinds to another where he suffered bullying. He tells us about a terrifying incident when, as a teenager, he and his brother were held at gunpoint by a home invader later identified as a serial rapist. He recounts some stupid mistakes he made as a grocery stockboy, and of the owner, a man whose example gave him some important lessons in what makes a good leader. Later, we see him discovering the work of Reinhold Niebuhr in a college religion class. (You may have seen Comey's tweets under Neibuhr's name, many of them using the theologist's own words.) He gives us insights into his long marriage to a supportive wife and their tragic loss of an infant son. Along the way, he remembers teachers, colleagues, and others who set an example for the man he hoped to become.

And, of course, there is his long and fascinating career. After a stint as law clerk to a federal judge in Manhattan and a short stint with a private law firm, Comey joined the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York--the same office currently investigating Michael Cohen, President Trump's "fixer." One of the cases he worked on was the Gambino crime family prosecution, and he has a lot of intriguing stories to tell about that experience. He was deputy special counsel to the Whitewater investigation--his first run-in with Hillary Clinton--and, as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, investigated President Clinton's pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, a Clinton campaign contributor facing federal charges of violating trade sanctions against Iran. I had no idea that Comey was the lead prosecutor in the case against Martha Stewart. His discussion of the case and the dilemmas he faced are a fine example of the way he uses his legal experiences to demonstrate his sense of ethics. Years earlier, he had upheld the conviction of a young black assistant pastor who had lied to the FBI in attempting to protect his mentor. If this man served time for his crime, why should Martha Stewart be shown leniency for the same crime and others?

Comey's first headlong plunge into Washington politics came when he opposed the Bush regime's extension of the NSA's domestic wiretapping program, which had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The story of his visit to John Ashcroft's hospital bedside, accompanied by three trusted colleagues, including then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. They persuaded Ashcroft, the Attorney General, to uphold the discontinuation of the wiretaps, thwarting the wishes of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez. This was not Comey's last run-in with these politicos and others, including Condoleeza Rice. He opposed the interrogation procedures--waterboarding, sleep deprivation, humiliation, etc.--as forms of both physical and mental torture, and he was involved in the investigation of Scooter Libby for lying to the FBI, obstructing justice, and outing CIA agent Valerie Plame. (Is it possible this is yet another reason, in addition to sending a message to cronies under investigation, for Trump's recent pardon of Libby?) Again and again, he stands up for his belief that members of the Justice Department, once appointed, must work independently and not be steered by the Executive Office. He addresses the criticism he received for appearing sympathetic to the concerns of Black Lives Matters and recounts his efforts to increase the percentage of minority personnel working for the FBI, encouraging employees to recruit talented people by telling them about the opportunities the department offers and by "finding joy" in their own work.

And there are the last few years: the issue of Hillary Clinton's private server and lost emails, the concerns about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and the exchanges with Trump that resulted in Comey's firing. Comey is nothing if not honest about his personal faults and the mistakes he has made, but he attempts to explain the internal conflicts he faced and the rationale behind his decisions. You may not agree with him, but you can't help but agree that he thought he was doing his job to the best of his ability, holding fast to the truth he still believes will set us all free and following the example of his lifelong mentors. (Once his book tour is over, he will be returning to the classroom, teaching courses in effective and ethical leadership.)

I listened to this book on audio and recommend it in that format. Comey is a good writer and a very good reader, and hearing him tell his own story adds credence to it. I enjoyed A Higher Loyalty not as an exposé or even a self-justification, but simply as the story of one man's life and its challenges. I only wish I shared his optimism about our country's future. He ends with a metaphor: when forest fires burn themselves out, there is room for more and better things to emerge from the scorched earth, resulting in a forest that is even stronger than before.

130 of 178 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SPS
  • LA
  • 01-27-19

Partial Explanation

I wanted to read the book so that I could understand why Comey treated the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as he did. I came away from it with not much more understanding on that subject. Comey is obviously an intelligent person, but he has a glaring blind spot that he still doesn't recognize. He seems to have settled with himself that he is just and right and that his actions must always be so as a consequence, and that's the end of introspection. I hoped for more.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful