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A Higher Loyalty

  by James Comey


(about 365 pages)
91,218
total words
of all the books in our library
23.34%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.53%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.87%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.23%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.64%
non-ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
York knew something was going on that touched Hillary Clinton, and a search warrant was a big step. The circle was now larger than it had ever been, and included New York, where we’d had Clinton-related leaks in prior months. Concealing the new investigation and then having it leak right before the election might have been even worse, if worse can be imagined. But a reasonable person might have done it. I’ve also asked myself a hundred times whether I should have pressed for faster action after hearing something about Weiner’s laptop around the beginning of October. But I did not understand what it meant until October 27. I had moved on to other cases and problems, and assumed if it was important, the team would bring it to me. Had I been told about it earlier, I’m sure I would have had the same reaction I had on October 27—we need to go get those emails, immediately. Whether I should have, or could have, been told the details earlier than October 27 is a question I can’t answer. The 2016 presidential election was like no other for the FBI, and even knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it differently, but I can imagine good and principled people in my shoes making different choices about some things. I think different choices would have resulted in greater damage to our country’s institutions of justice, but I’m not certain of that. I pray no future FBI director is who are on time. I think a leader should always be on time.” He was wearing his usual dark blue suit, white shirt, and too-long red tie. He did not speak to the stewards at all. He gestured me to the table, which sat us about four feet apart and was placed directly beneath the ornate chandelier in the center of the rectangular room. As the name suggests, the walls of the Green Room are covered in silk fabric of that color. I read afterward that John Adams used it as a bedroom and Thomas Jefferson made it a dining room, but presidents since have used it as a sitting room. That evening the furniture had been removed in favor of our small dining table. Over the president’s right shoulder, I could see one of two statues that stand on either side of the fireplace, the white marble mantelpiece resting on their heads, which looked really painful. On my plate, I had found a large cream-colored card describing the entire four-course menu in cursive script. Salad, shrimp scampi, chicken parmesan with pasta, and vanilla ice cream. The president began by admiring his own menu card, which he held up. “They write these things out one at a time, by hand,” he marveled, referring to the White House staff. “A calligrapher,” I replied, nodding. He looked quizzical. “They write them by hand,” he repeated. At some point early on, maybe by the time the navy stewards brought us the shrimp scampi

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1824.36 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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