Comey explicitly frames the book as part of a larger project of rebuilding American institutions in Trump’s wake ... Saving Justice is more of a user’s manual for the justice system, whose independence and integrity Trump has done his best to undermine. It’s both an exploration of the values Trump has tried to pervert and an explanation of why those values matter ... Comey writes from a place of deep sincerity about the moral code that Justice Department employees must follow as people who are above politics and doing their best 'to find and tell the American people the truth.' He wrote the book, he says, 'for ordinary citizens, not legal experts or historians, because all of us must know the Justice Department.' ... Comey sticks to his wholesome Boy Scout persona ... Comey’s focus on Trump prevents him from examining the wider problems that led to public distrust in the justice system well before the current president entered the political scene ... The most glaring example is the book’s handling of race ... Seen in a certain light, Saving Justice is an argument for the continued moral relevance of law enforcement expertise as a guide in stitching institutions back together under the Biden presidency. Yet the inequities of the criminal justice system as it now exists, as opposed to the high-minded ideals that Comey treasures, make this a harder sell in the absence of sustained reflection on the system’s failures.
Saving Justice is a slight and repetitive book, but not an insignificant one ... Comey is a curious figure. He is smart, admirable, hard-working — and yet slightly smarmy in his rectitude. He begins each chapter with a quote from sources ranging from Virginia Woolf to Malcolm X to the inevitable Dalai Lama. He tries to leaven his supreme pontification with stories of his own flaws, mixed emotions and humility ... His pursuit of transparency is rigorous to the point of myopia ... If nothing else, Comey has laid out the challenge of the next four years. Joe Biden’s quiet humanity will confront a noisy nation where too many citizens have become so sour that they’ve found solace, and entertainment, in an alternative reality. It will not be easy to lure them away from their noxious fantasies, but fact-based truth is not negotiable.
This is a sequel to Comey's A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership , which appeared in April 2018 and swiftly became a best seller. It could be called the first really consequential critique in the initial barrage of books about President Trump in office ... Saving Justice might still be called a continuation of the first memoir, and both might be titled Defending Comey . The answers he gives in both books, to detractors from both parties, are much the same. He sees his obligation, his client if you will, not the person or party who appointed him or even as the Department of Justice. He sees his obligation as being to justice itself. He knows how it looks, sometimes, and how hard it is to explain to others. But he has to refuse to care, or at least act as though he doesn't, while he perseveres ... But here, as in the first book, Comey's central issue is Trump, whom he views as the antithesis of his own focus on truth, transparency and trust.