- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult (October 25, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0641863950
- ISBN-13: 978-0641863950
- ASIN: B000SOVWBE
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 462 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,330,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Truth (with jokes) Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 25, 2005
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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 alternate Hardcover edition.
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 alternate Hardcover edition.
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his depth of knowledge is impressive. I've learned more about our political system from these books then from any other source.
All right, now that I've gotten that off my chest, in my opinion this book is definitely worth a read. I must say, I personally found "Lies" funnier, if only because so much of what Franken brigns to light in this volume is so much more disturbing.
Hypocrisy Award of the Year goes to: Tom Delay, who, according to Franken, turns a blind eye to forced abortions on the US island of Saipan, where women who get pregnant are forced to either quit or have an abortion. Why hasn't Congress put a stop to such inhumane labor practices, which reportedly include sweat shop conditions? Because, according to Franken, Tom Delay fights for his special interest friends in the halls of Congress whenever such legislation comes up, even if it means women are forced to have abortions when they get pregnant. Heaven forbid the sweat shops pay more than $3.15 per hour and become subject to US standard labor practices. Mr. Delay, that one takes the cake, and that chapter is required reading for anyone concerned with corporate greed in America.
Love him or hate him, it's good to hear his arguments and come to your own conclusions.
I hadn't read any of Franken's books until his previous work: "Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them". When I cracked the cover to that book I couldn't put it down. It was smart, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny. But it wasn't his incredible sense of humor and irreverent satire that got me the most excited. Franken was going after the myth of the Liberal Media Bias, and was doing it to fantastic effect!
Nevertheless, though I loved his last book, it had a few drawbacks. One was that it was very tricky at times to tell when he was making something up as satire, and when he was citing real honest-to-God facts. 98% of the time I could easily differentiate, but there were enough times when I spotted things that I knew some less-attentive readers might take literally, potentially even discounting him in the revelation.
In "The Truth", Franken attempts to remedy this, even poking fun at the fact that some readers of "Lies" had made this complaint. He is better about making it much more clear what's a joke and what's a real quote, although-perhaps frighteningly-some of the quotes that might seem to be too unbelievable to be true (from the vice president for example) are word-for-word accurate. When in doubt, the reference section of his book is filled with great information and further sources, and all of his material seems to be very well documented and fact-checked. Great use of in-text signal phrases are very common making sure you know where he's getting the information he's spitting at you, and he also uses footnotes (the real kind, opposed to Coulter's foot/end notes). There is a high degree of intellectual integrity. The majority of the time, he says right in the sentence where that fact is comming from (what book, report, agency etc), and he's very good about making little "to be fair" notes. When in doubt: if he hasn't cited a source and it sounds sarcastic, it's probably just sarcasm.
But this book is light-years beyond Lies. This book is more focused, and more serious in tone, though still exceedingly funny to me. Examples similar to the more over-the-top antics from Lies (such as the abstinence letter-writing fiasco) are nowhere to be found here, a very good thing as it gains him credibility from the reader. Also, "Lies" was mostly attacking right-wing media hypocrites who consistently bully guests and lie to the public to put forward their views while claiming to be the only objective sources on the air (Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh). The book was arguably very soft of the Bush Administration itself, particularly its lack of truly exposing the hypocrisies and liberal contentions over the Iraq War, as well as other big issues. The biggest "Lying Liar" of them all was the one Franken came down weakest. Not so in "The Truth"!!
In this book Franken has the entire Bush Administration, and the Republican Congress in his sites. He exposes massive scandal and corruption on everything from lies and incompetence regarding Iraq (a major, major subject) and a harsh attack of the administration's Social Security plan. Also Franken shows just HOW Bush managed to barely win the 2004 election, using "Fear, Smears, and Queers" (and a lot of shady campaigning). He exposes Tom Delay, Jack Abromoff, and many others of their corruption.
This is new for Franken, and shows his maturity, and his steady movement towards serious political work (a planned run for the senate in 2008) and his new radio talk show. This book is more political, more serious, but every single bit as hilarious as "Lies". His conciseness, creativity, vivid writing, and concrete research tactics make this book a definitive book of the modern progressive movement. It truly deserves it's title, it is THE TRUTH (at least from the perspective of the left). But Franken is fair enough to drop olive branch after olive branch to show he wants to unite America, not divide it. He portrays all his beliefs, and all his arguments against this current administration amid a backdrop of passionate patriotism, proving that Liberals can and DO love this country every bit as much as the Right, and do not deserve the label of "unpatriotic" that their ideology so often gets.
This book is a must-read for any progressive or liberal, especially those that enjoy laughing about things that are only funny in an abstract sense (and life and death serious in reality). But this book is also a fabulous look at the beating heart of liberalism, its charisma, its principles, and its values, and a very solid criticism of our current leaders. Therefore this book is perhaps even a more important read for any casual (or perhaps even firm) Bush supporter, as well as Conservatives, to really understand the other side, and consider that perhaps your own leaders aren't as true to your values as you currently believe.