From the Publisher
"Devastating...The Truth keeps its promise to be funny about extremely unfunny matters. It matches Lies in wit, and its subjects are tougher. The gags have bite. . . .The book stays lively even when it dissects President Bush's views on Social Security . . .And it is effectively leavened with bits of dialogue, many of them all too real." -The New York Times
"Subtle, laugh-or-cry-out-loud and ultimately devastating . . .The Truth (with jokes) is guaranteed to rile the right again with its forensic lasering of Republican skullduggery and media mendacity, laced with sharp humor. . . . [Al Franken] is the voice the American left has been waiting for." -The Guardian (London)
The Truth does keep its promise to be funny about extremely unfunny matters. It matches Lies in wit, and its subjects are tougher. Mr. Franken jokes that his exploration of the Swift Boat Veterans' poisonous attacks on John Kerry's war record led him to check into a hospital suffering septic shock. He also imagines himself awkwardly in John and Teresa Heinz Kerry's presence: "Oh. Hmmm. Uh, sure you should run again. Wow. That'd be great. How many books did you guys say you were going to buy?"
The New York Times
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. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 24). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Is Franken getting more surreal, or is it our government? Building on his last book (Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them), the author takes us on a comic tour of our nation's current political status, or it would be comic if so much of it wasn't showing up in the news. From the tactics used by the Republican Party to retain control of the government to the latest on Congressman Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Franken and his research team deliver a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of our current administration. A 2004 Grammy winner, Franken shows how our leaders have turned an $80 billion surplus on January 23, 2001, into a national deficit of more than $2 trillion, and how that $11 trillion shortfall the Social Security Trust Fund is teetering under won't occur until the year infinity. Franken's performance is stellar; he is certainly not afraid to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
By Al Franken
Dutton Adult ISBN: 0-525-94906-2
Foreword AL FRANKEN, AMERICAN HERO BY ANONYMOUS
When Al Franken asked me to write a foreword to this astonishing and profoundly moving book, he had only one condition: that I remain anonymous.
"Why?" I asked. "Having a big name like mine on your cover would be an enormous feather in any author's cap."
"That's exactly the point," he responded.
Al, you see, is too modest to want to call attention to the fact that he and I are such close friends. Typical Al. He always hides his light.
I reluctantly agreed to his condition, but in return I extracted one of my own. In exchange for concealing my famous identity, I demanded total control over the text of this foreword. I knew Al too well to give him the chance to edit out all the well-warranted praise I intended to heap on him. But even though this enthusiastic foreword will no doubt embarrass Al, I believe that you, the reader, deserve to know the full truth about this great American and about this book. I believe it to be not only the finest volume he has written, but perhaps the Great American Nonfiction Hardcover itself.
The Truth is a very different kind of book than the ones this multifaceted genius has given us before. Oh, it's funny. (How could Al Franken not write a funny book?) But it's more than that. Gone is the familiar cast of villains: the psychotic Ann Coulter, the sex-addicted Bill O'Reilly, the drug-addicted Rush Limbaugh. Consigned to their own personal hells by their failings as human beings, Franken mercifully leaves them be. Ann Coulter has been banned as effectively from these pages as from the intellectual salons to which she so desperately craves admittance.
In The Truth, the fish are bigger, and the fry is deeper.
Franken's targets this time include both people-Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, DeLay-and something new: ideas. In particular, the idea that the 2004 election meant that Franken's beloved America had moved to the right. Al Franken ain't buyin' it.
Using access to confidential documents and firsthand accounts, Franken weaves the true story of the Making of the President 2004, starring the Three Horsemen of the Republican Apocalypse: Fear, Smears, and Queers.
Franken shows more than how Bush won. He shows what Bush won. (Or in the case of a mandate, what he didn't win.)
But this story chronicles more than a rise. It chronicles a fall. And what a fall! Was Bush like Icarus, simply a man who dared to dream-a man who flew too close to the sun? Or like Daedalus, a man who equipped his son with unsafe wings made of easily melted beeswax?
As Franken makes clear, the answer is both-and neither.
If you doubt that Icarus has fallen, then I say these words to you: Terri Schiavo, Social Security, Ahmed Chalabi, Tom DeLay, and Iraq.
But this book is more than just a disconnected list of names, places, and topics. Far more. It is something new for Franken. And, I would argue, for literature. Here, Franken has taken a single stem cell-the English language-and grown from it a fully functional kidney with which to purify the blood of the body politic.
In the rarified sphere of contemporary general-audience nonfiction, few books live up to the promise offered by their title. Fewer still, their subtitle. But in The Truth (with jokes), the author lives up to not only his title and his subtitle but, most important, to the name that appears on the cover. Al Franken.
Anonymous New York, NY August 13, 2005
Excerpted from The Truth by Al Franken Excerpted by permission.
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