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The Truth (with jokes) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 26, 2006

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Editorial Reviews Review

Nearly a year after the presidential election of 2004, Al Franken is still checking facts, exposing lies, and trying to clear the record as he sees it. Sneering at President Bush's declaration of a mandate after a two-and-a-half percent victory, he deconstructs Bush's 2004 platform of "fear, smear, and queers," and explains how the president has done some flip-flopping of his own. He offers comment on well-known stories, including the Terri Schiavo case, and some more obscure, such as reports of forced prostitution, indentured servitude, and squalid conditions at clothing factories in Saipan (which is part of the American Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Franken focuses on Tom DeLay's connection to the territory and his efforts to prevent bills from being passed that would have required Saipan to follow U.S. labor laws. Iraq, too, is discussed, from its planning stages to the huge sum of money currently unaccounted for, including $8.8 billion missing from the Coalition Provisional Authority's coffers.

On the home front, Franken covers President Bush's attempt at Social Security reform, explaining how they came up with the projected shortfall figure of $11 trillion. For one thing, they adjusted life expectancy to 150 years, while leaving the retirement age at 67: "That's an eighty-three-year retirement. They're never gonna get to that without stem cell research." He also takes some wickedly funny swipes at Karl Rove, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pundits and hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Tim Russert, and Sean Hannity, and, of course, President Bush. The Truth succeeds in providing ammunition to liberals and others dissatisfied with the current power base in Washington, D.C.--only this time (with jokes). --Shawn Carkonen

An Exclusive Video for The Truth (with jokes) from Al Franken

We try to keep things civil in our customer review section, but Al Franken, who apparently trained at the Saturday Night Live school of conflict mediation, didn't get the message in his exclusive video for his book The Truth (with Jokes): see high bandwidth and low bandwidth versions.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Franken and his research team return to what they do best: detailing allegations and accusations being spread by right-wing pundits and then debunking them point-by-point. While numerous tomes have taken on the administration's creative definition of "facts," few have the massive readership of satirist Franken or his wickedly sly sense of humor. In many ways, the unabridged audio is superior to the bound book because listeners can enjoy Franken's deadpan comedic delivery. Another audio bonus is that rather than Franken reading the text he's about to redress, he provides the actual soundclips so listeners can hear George W. stumble over his words, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh bluster and Zell Miller contradict himself. Franken is such an uncanny mimic that listeners will find it hard to tell which Karl Rove and Dick Cheney sound bites are real and which are Franken's dead-on impersonations. Listeners will find Franken's directness refreshing (he calls Bush an "utterly shameless liar" and says his administration is "fixing the intelligence and facts around the policy."). The penultimate chapter is Franken's stirring call to arms to "throw these guys out in 2006." This is essential listening for those who want ammunition to fight to preserve their human rights.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (October 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287677
  • ASIN: B004JU1SMG
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (478 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,006,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. Colliano on November 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The most prominent feature of this book is (believe it or not) its near-consummate lack of humor. For those that know Al Franken from his previous projects, including two of his previous bestsellers, "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, And Other Observations" and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," this may seem to be hard to believe. But in addition to having a title that's less than ten words long, this book is the most serious, most somber, of all of Franken's projects that I know of. Yes, true to the book's subtitle, there are jokes. But then again, I know of no writer that is completely humorless (and if there were, I don't want to read him), but almost completely gone (save for the occassional barbs thrown in the direction of his usual nemeses: Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter and Hannity) is Franken's trademark satirical and often ribald skewering of conservative pundits.

This is not to say that without Franken's characteristic humor, the book is without merit. Far from it. Only that we're seeing a markedly different Al Franken. Not a deadly serious Al Franken, but still one much more serious than we're used to.

And his targets, this time are not the pundits, but the leaders in the conservative movement, such as the very recently indicted Tom DeLay, his close compatriot Jack Abramoff. And the issues are more serious than which suburb Bill O'Reilly grew up in. This time his bones of contention are with the severely bungled Terri Schiavo case, the war in Iraq, and the smear campaigns conducted against John Kerry.

The book answers, or should I say, reconfirms, what I believed about conservative leadership for quite some time: they care only about the rights of major corporations to make money. That's all.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Kenoyer on October 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My husband bought me this book as a treat for my birthday--I'm normally not a fast reader, but I couldn't put it down. I read it into the night and woke up the following morning (early) and read it some more. When I got back from work, I sat down first thing and read it even more. Franken's writing and wit has an aura that grabbed me and held my attention from beginning to end.

What struck me most about his book was how he managed to, for his readers including me, relive the disappointment and near-despair of those of us in the progressive movement who were devastated when Kerry lost the 2004 election. Through his writing, I felt Al's depression, disappointment, discouragement, and anger at the gloating of an overconfident Right who were overly impressed with themselves and their narrow win.

In later chapters, I felt disgust at Al's relating the "dirty tricks" of the Bush team in deceiving the American public, time and again, into not only fighting an illegal and unwarranted war based on lies, but believing its spinning an honorable Vietnam veteran into a traitor and deceiving the Bush voters into supporting him a second time. At the end of the book, I felt hope and encouragement from Al's poignant letter to his future grandchildren, and felt more motivated than ever to work for positive change in our country's landscape.

Those of you reviewers who are "one-starring" this excellently-written book are most likely doing so without reading it.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By B. Kemper VINE VOICE on November 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Franken's penchant for speaking the truth (and citing his sources in footnotes so that his research is on the table for all to see), is already legendary. Let me be straightforward here: I hate this administration. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime and probably in the history of the United States. The lies, distortions and damage of all kinds that have come out of this presidency are disgusting. I truly can't imagine how anyone other than the CEO of Halliburton could still like the guy. And thanks to Al Franken (and some other humorists like Stephanie Miller), I can get through these eight years without screaming myself hoarse or causing harm to myself and others. Humor is the key, folks, and thankfully this book is brimming with it. Oh yes, and it does contain TRUTH as well!
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68 of 81 people found the following review helpful By J. White on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The irony of the right-wing raters not getting the irony of the video guessed it, ironic! It's no surprise that they would be too stupid to see that they are being made fun of, but for them to then make such an uproar about it is truly hilarious.

As for Limbaugh, Roberts or Coulter doing something like this and being lambasted, the problem with that is that Limbaugh, Roberts and Coulter aren't funny and don't say things for laughs. When Coulter says we should invade "their" countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity...she means it! When Al Franken bashes a "conservative" with a's farce and irony. When Pat Robertson says that the U.S. should assassinate Hugo Chavez, he means it! When Al Franken says that it looks like Rove and Libby are going to be's a freakin' joke! Maybe the uproarious laughter of the audience wasn't enough of a clue.

All that said, I just can't get enough of the one-star reviewers shock at the video. The complete failure to understand that they are being made fun of is just heart-warming. Please, keep it up!
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