Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

by Al Franken


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#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." - Louise Erdrich, The New York Times

From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum - comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455540419
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 257,190
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Senator Al Franken has represented Minnesota in the United States Senate since 2009. Before entering politics, he was an award-winning comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host. He's been married to his wife, Franni, for 41 years-many of them happy. They have two children, Thomasin and Joe, and three grandchildren. Senator Franken graduated from Harvard College and received his doctorate in right-wing megalomania studies from Trump University.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

May 21, 1951


B.S., Political Science, Harvard University, 1973

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

1 Why I'm a Democrat 5

2 How I Became a Comedian 10

3 Saturday Night Live (Not the Drug Part) 21

4 Saturday Night Live (The Drug Part) 30

5 Saturday Night Live (The Part Where I Leave) 39

6 Paul 46

7 A 99 Percent Improvement 51

8 Year of the Bean Feed 63

9 The DeHumorizer™ 75

10 I Attempt to Litigate Comedy 86

11 Hermann the German and the Pull-Out Couch 91

12 No Joke 98

13 Harry and Chuck 100

14 Icarus Soars 109

15 Twixt Cup and Lip 114

16 Public Opprobrium 119

17 My First Powwow 136

18 Tax-Dodging, Rape-Joking Pornographer for Senate 145

19 Franni Saves the Campaign 152

20 "Has It Gotten That Bad?!" 160

21 "It's Close, It's Very Close" 168

22 The Recount 172

23 Welcome to the NFL 182

24 I Actually Become a Senator 186

25 My First Big Win* 190

26 What Gets Me out of Bed in the Morning 196

27 The Case of Perry Mason's Lost Case 199

28 The Angel and the Devil 203

29 Never Give the Staff Credit 212

30 Letting My Id Run Amok 219

31 I Screw Up 229

32 Operation Curdle 235

33 Health Care: Now What? 247

34 I Meet George W. Bush 267

35 The 64 Percent Rule 271

36 My Republican Friends 283

37 Sophistry 293

38 Bulletproof 308

39 Cracks in My Soul 314

40 The Koch Brothers Hate Your Grandchildren 329

41 No Whining on the Yacht 335

42 I Win Awards 344

43 We Build a DeHumorizer™ 349

44 I Get Reelected 359

45 Lies and the Lying Liar Who Got Himself Elected President 367

46 I Attend a Presidential Inauguration 376

47 Being as Good as the People We Serve 386

Acknowledgments 393

Index 397

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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We need more politicians like Franken, our republic is at risk and sharp thinkers like him might just get it back on track. Funny,funny book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect combo of autobiogrphy and insight into the politcal process
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a mostly serious recounting of Franken's career. I learned a lot about being a senator and his passion for helping the Minnestans he represents. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It also taught me allot about Sen Franken that I did not know. I now have to read his other books. Not only was it funny it also was very informative. Keep up your good work in the Senate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now here is a man who ought to run for president! This book tells how Al Franken came to the senate . This book is funny, sad, and helps to understand some aspects of what Sen. Franken is about .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All North, South, and Central Americans must read or at the very least buy this extraordinally important book in an effort to educate ourselves and to help Senator Franken make the world good again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please run for president. This book is an eye opener for Washington. Just finished reading the book. Finally, someone went to Washington in hopes of fixing the country's ills. I had planned to vote for the best candidate. Thanks to his comments about the Koch Brothers, I plan to vote straight democratic until people run with a desire to help, rather than mega bucks thrown at them by lobbyists and Koch clones. We'll gladly donate "small amounts" in hopes of electing someone who really cares about the lives of his grandchildren.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny while giving you a great view of Washington politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Franken is open about his own flaws and biases, making this an entertaining read. It is an important read because it is a frank first-hand look at the way the political world functions (or doesn't function) right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. Tells what it is like running for the Senate and then what the day to day job duties are. Senator Franken is probably the only senator who could make this information interesting, except maybe for Ted Cruz. You have to read the book to get that joke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gives us hope!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Al franken, please become a Civics teacher when they force you out oh, right, they don't teach that anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed his wit and the clear descriptions of several current legislative issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Told us how he got there, congratulated those crucial people behind the scenes and how he is passionate and persistent in helping people. Love how he handles the "liars". With the recent events in the White House, this book is even more telling about the inner workings, without being dreary. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dare I say ..... the "new" Mark Twain?..good book...funny..and I think an honest one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read - serious, funny book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book & AL Franken & his wife????!!!!
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
It had never occurred to me that reading the memoirs of a sitting senator could be an interesting and informative way to spend time. Congress has infuriated me for awhile now. Before I became laser-focused on politics in Washington, listening to the “can’t manage it” complaints from Democrats really burned me up, so the thought of giving a Congressperson more time to blather at me was unappealing. Since I have been paying attention, however, I can see lots of areas where “can’t manage it” complaints are perfectly in order, leaving me free to be angry with the GOP and their many allied organizations, e.g., far right, libertarians, religious right, etc. Franken points out many ways the best laid plans go awry, and suggests those who are tempted to complain about politics try it themselves. Not a bad idea. It may be time we send our best to Washington to try to make some headway. So why does sitting-Senator Franken write a book now? He began it in 2015, shortly after he won his Minnesota seat by a comfortable margin for another 6-year term. He points out that Congresspeople do not make a large salary, but he’d better not say that too loudly in this climate where the enormous wage differentials between different types of work are an enduring and growing source of confusion, contention, and anger. A congressperson doesn’t make as much as a Hollywood celebrity, no. So? He has trouble living on his Senate salary? Anyway, he may have written the book because he can, because it is a something he is good at, and because his books are bestsellers, bringing in real income. I doubt it will allay the need for more fundraising, but it would be nice if it did. It may simply mean campaign funds do not become a temptation. But I think he also wrote it also to stir the pot and make sure we've heard the message that we need to work hard on our side to become involved and not allow the current administration to go beyond 2018. He's doing what he can to keep our spirits up. As Bernie says, now is not the time to throw our hands up in despair and resignation. Franken spent most of thirty years trying to be funny and after he became a senator, he had to cap the well so that he’d be taken seriously. After his re-election Franken thought he’d earned the right to be funny again in public, and the truth is, we yearn to find something funny about Washington. We know it is absurd. We want to hear a professional’s take. It seems effortless for Franken to be funny, so used he is to drilling down to the absurdity in everyday happenings in Washington, to make jokes about the ridiculous posturing and outright lies, to recognize his fellow performers in the Senate as a kind of troupe, some of whom are easier to work with than others. And it is a kind of a relief to look at these politicians as humans, with human foibles. I admit I was surprised to hear his stories about Orrin Hatch’s credentials writing country songs, or Chuck Grassley’s apparent willingness to work across the isle with a fellow midwesterner. We’d always heard about the startling collegiality among a group who by day fights rancorously in public, though in recent years, with congressional incumbents going back to their districts on Thursdays and returning Monday afternoons, members of Congress have little opportunity to meet casually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How Al gave up comedy for comity.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken is a book I was so ready to read and it did not disappoint. He started the book by going all the way back to his beginnings in comedy then on up to being a Senator. The reason for this was to show how hard it was to run for office after being a comedian and having every joke thrown in his face by both parties. This was an excellent book about how the inside of politics work and doesn't work. The inside of how corrupt some of these guys are. It told of Franken's tough times and his good times. You laugh with him and laugh at him. You laugh at the goofy politicians that think they are better than everyone else. The best chapter in the whole book is the one on Ted Cruz. Oh my gosh! Loved it. During the election, my family called Cruz the 'pedophile' because he looks like what we imagine a pedophile would look like. In Franken's book, he calls Cruz the 'pedophile' and I laughed so hard. Definitely worth the money and the time. Love his books anyway but this is just awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out a bit boring, but all total I liked the book. I am sorry he is no longer a Senator. I feel he really had his heart in it. I feel he was a good one. I don’t know the full stories on what his wrong doings were . The women that came forward I have compassion for. I think as a woman myself. If a man did anything or said anything to me that made me feel uncomfortable he would know it within minutes after. Circumstances may differ and that might not always be the case. I have , Sadly, had experience with men that needed direction on where they should and should not put their hands. I am glad they are now having to take accountability for there actions. Maybe now these violations both verbal and physical will be addressed in a more timely manner. It shouldn’t be an issue. We all deserve respect. Should we bring back the good slap in the face?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative, interesting and a book I seldom put down till I finished it, even for a non-political person such as myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always been a fan of Al Franken the comedian. Now I think I might be a fan of Al Franken the senator. He's a likable guy, comes across and genuine and sincere. The book is well written and had me thinking about a few things. Very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny & pointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Al Franken gives you an all access pass into his political journey with his unique brand of wit and satire. He also introduced me to Paul Wellstone and mourn the fact Paul isn't around anymore.