The Truth (with Jokes)

The Truth (with Jokes)

3.6 34
by Al Franken

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Al Franken's landmark bestseller, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, was praised as a "bitterly funny assault" (The New York Times) that rang "with the moral clarity of an angel's trumpet" (Associated Press). Now, this master of political humor strikes again with a powerful and provocative message for all Americans.


Al Franken's landmark bestseller, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, was praised as a "bitterly funny assault" (The New York Times) that rang "with the moral clarity of an angel's trumpet" (Associated Press). Now, this master of political humor strikes again with a powerful and provocative message for all Americans.

Because after Lies, comes The Truth.

In these pages, Al reveals the alarming story of how:

  • Bush (barely) beat Kerry with his campaign of "fear, smear, and queers," and then claimed a nonexistent mandate
  • Republicans decided that Terri Schiavo would make "a great political issue"
  • Conservatives sought to undermine Social Security by using a strategy borrowed from... Vladimir Lenin
  • Tom DeLay is just an absolute horror show

This is truly a book for everyone.

If you were a Bush voter, Al wants to set aside partisan bitterness and talk about the better future Americans can build together for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. (Generations beyond that will have to fend for themselves.) But first, Al must show you how Republican leaders are, at this very moment, betraying your trust and quite possibly lighting a Cuban cigar with a burning American flag or Bible.

If you're a liberal, this book is for you as well. Maybe even most of all. In these pages, you will find evidence for what you already believe: that Al Franken is among America's finest prose stylists, and that the depravity of the Bush administration is only outmatched by the rot in the heart of the Republican Congress.

And finally, if you are a member of a future generation who has found this book in a pile of radioactive rubble, Al apologizes. Not because he didn't do his best to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons from rogue nations to non-state actors taking refuge in so-called "failed" states. But because his countrymen evidently failed to listen.

In any case, enjoy the book.

"I present THE TRUTH not just to shock you, not just to make you laugh and cry alternatingly, or maybe even at the same time, not just to set the record straight-but to rouse you, to prepare you for battles ahead. The only vaccine powerful enough to inoculate you from lies is the truth. This book is both sword and shield. With jokes."


They told us that when we invaded, we'd be greeted with sweets and flowers. They left out the crucial modifier: "exploding."

George W. Bush wants to amend our Constitution to make it illegal for gays to marry. But evidently, he has no problem with terrorists getting married. America can't afford a president who is soft on terrorist marriage. Because unlike gays, terrorists can breed.

The FristCam Act of 2005 would place a video camera in every one of America's Intensive Care Units. The FristCams would pan the ICUs, and the Senate Majority Leader would give each patient a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

Bin Laden must have been furious. Here he had gone to all this trouble to murder thousands of Americans, and Saddam-Saddam, the infidel!-was getting all the credit! Who was the head of al Qaeda?! Who was funding al Qaeda?! Somewhere along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border there was a very angry terrorist mastermind.

From what I understand, if you cut out all the passages in the Bible where Jesus talks about the poor, about helping out the least among us, you'd have the perfect container to smuggle Rush Limbaugh's drugs in.

The number Bush kept using, $11 trillion, represented the total shortfall from now until the year Infinity. If you think about it, $11 trillion over Infinity years is nothing. Over the first 11 trillion years, that's just one dollar a year. Easy. After that, it's over. You're done. What, exactly, is the problem?

Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
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
Publishers Weekly
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.
Library Journal
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.
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)

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 8 Cassettes, 12 hours
Product dimensions:
4.08(w) x 7.14(h) x 2.66(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Truth

By Al Franken

Dutton Adult

ISBN: 0-525-94906-2



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.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Al Franken is the bestselling author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Oh, the Things I Know!, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Why Not Me?, and I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me!

Brief Biography

New York, New York
Date of Birth:
May 21, 1951
B.S., Political Science, Harvard University, 1973

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The Truth (with Jokes) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read Lies and now I've read the truth. I agree with the New York Times reviewer on that the subject matter was extremely tougher and, well, more sad than in Lies. I don't think it was quite as funny, but it was as funny as corruption and war could ever be. Because of how heavy some of the topics were, it wasn't exactly an easy read for me. It left me at times scratching my head in frustration and information overload. But I think that I am better for having read it, and I think that everyone who considers themselves a patriotic American should have to. Everyone should know what's been going on with our government and this country. I also just really enjoy Franken's writing. He is intelligent and humorous. And he thoroughly researches everything he writes about, providing examples for every point he has to make. I especially appreciate the credibility because it makes this book more than opinion, it really makes it The Truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for everyone! I looked up many of the sources he sites for the information he provides and it all checked out. It puzzles me that someone can say it's 'trash' if it is well researched. Franken even often gives credit to the 'other side' when they do do something right. People need to read this book to get their head out of the sand!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book as a gift for Christmas and read it almost entirely in one sitting. Mr. Franklin makes a powerful, cogent, and insightful indictment of the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress. Conservatives can call Al names, but they can't seem to answer the arguments he makes in his book. And its very, very funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An interesting and thought provoking read, courtesy of AirAmerica's radio host for the Progessive Liberal side. As with his previous books, Al Franken takes a stand for those who honestly fear for the future of the country with 'King George' still in power. New characters introduced such as Tom 'The Hammer' Delay and 'Casino' Jack Abramoff. Ironically, this could be said to be his best book however it lacks the humor that made his previous books, such as Lying Liars, so fantastic and fun to read. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there is alot of serious issues he talks about within its pages. As you read it you can practically feel Franken's frustration towards the reigning right wing fanatics in the Bush administration. There are jokes, true to its title, but it seems that they are far more scattered throughout the text than in his previous books. An excellant read if you enjoyed Lying Liars, or his book on Rush Limbaugh. I'm not really a liberal minded guy, but Al definately can write a better book than any of his compatriots from the right. Though I think I might have to send a note to the store I bought this from to move it from the humor section to the Politics section.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Franken shows us again why he is so respected by Democrats and feared by the corrupt camp in the Republican Party: facts. The guy's full of interesting facts. And I did laugh out loud more than a dozen times. And guess what-he's got more degrees than W.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought he wouldn't be able to top LIES but he did. I 100% recomend anyone who wants the truth to go out and purchase this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very good book! Franken did an excellent job with his research, and lays it out in an easy and fun to read book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At last someone has taken a hard view at the machinations used to manipulate the voting American public. This book invokes winces at times because it drives home the uncomfortable truth about politics and the current campaigning practices. Al Franken nails it perfectly, backing up his theories with valid facts.
Jezabel61 More than 1 year ago
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I did not read his previous books so I was not sure what to expect but i was pleasantly surprised. Not only is Al Franken extremely funny, but he backs up his facts. I feel like I'm getting an education on the dirty secrets of Washington politics and it's really funny! I would recommend this book to all of my Democrat friends only.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Al Franken is the master of political satire, but he is so much more than just a comedian! Franken is one of the smartest political thinkers in the public arena, he presents every arguement with a shocking amount of reasearch and an 'In Your Face!' attitude. This is a book for everyone, reguardless of political affiliation: it is amazing, witty, funny and is one of my favorite books of all time! (with jokes)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that makes me laugh. I like funny books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Find the brainwashed rights
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was funny and intelligent. It's funny and fun about the dialogue that goes about dissing the republican losers. BRAVO AL !!!!!!!!