The year of 2018 is the year of exposure and gain. On the heels of Michael Wolff’s Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House (Holt, Henry & Company, Inc) , the literary world, along with the juggernaut of Amazon, is bracing for the book release of former FBI Director James Comey. As fastidious as the world of politics and intrigue can be, I believe his book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Loyalty (Flatiron Books, available for pre-order April 17), will not be as salacious as Wolff’s book, or even the panache of the book, David Corn/Michael Isikoff book, Russian Roulette (Grand Central Publishing). But in keeping the type of man James Comey is depicted to be, the next logical level of duty for him was to write this book.
In political circles, he was known as a ‘boy scout’ of sorts. He wanted to be known as that guy in the room who would still do the right thing even when all hell was breaking loose. As a holdover from the previous presidential administration, FBI Director Comey didn’t play basketball with President Obama because he didn’t want the appearance of an improper or too familiar relationship. I liken Director Comey as the calmer version of Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He took his job, his duty, seriously even in the face of abject pressure to fold like something out of the Godfather or Goodfellas.
We all are familiar with the Clinton email red herrings, and how he should have handled that (hint: much better). But it also is a glimpse into his detail-oriented, prosecutorial nature. In all the memos he kept while involved with the working nuclear bomb fallout of the current Ringling Brothers circus that masquerades as an administration, demonstrates his ability to see past what was going on and be objective. With the notes he recorded, in the warnings he slipped to the Department of Justice before his firing, you see he remains loyal to The Last Boy Scout nature. Since those warnings went largely unheeded, the next logical step was to record these encounters with the push most men of reputable character have: the protect and arm with information needed to continue that protection.
The synopsis for the books is as follows (taken from barnesandnoble.com):
In his forthcoming book, 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.
With the ouster of now former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and the memos he kept, perhaps his book is next, right? There is something to be said for the thoughts of these men in the annals of power-sharing what they know, and daring us to believe them like Yoda all, “Do or do not. There is no try.” In any medium speaking truth to power is always a tightrope act: unsafe and only for those with no visible fear. The American-Hollywood imagination is enamored with the good guy, happy endings and those die trying to save those unaware from themselves. We love with the good guy falls on his sword for the greater good.
We need the Comeys and McCabes of the world to be our Saving Private Ryan, and our reporters in Full Metal Jacket. We need the stories of those that desire to do well above all else. We need the reflections, the war stories, we need to drool over the bleeding details, and inhale the smoke off someone else’s burning clothes. The United States of America is a collection of agreed fetishes and voyeurism—we love to look with no responsibility or involvement. However, maybe we need these stories, and the men who chose to tell them, to remember although there are dragons, they can be slain if we be but brave enough to do believe we can slay them.