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The Truth with Jokes

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  6,676 ratings  ·  207 reviews
Al Franken is �the perfect guy to write a book attacking America�s nasty, mean, vicious right-wing pols, pundits and preachers,� wrote The Washington Post in its review of Lies. �But his book barely scratches the surface of the Bush administration�s well-documented mendacity... Looks like Franken will have plenty of material for a sequel.�

The Republicans won the White Ho

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Dutton Adult (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike Jensen
I had an office at the VA when I read this book, and was seen during lunch breaks with it open before me. I can't tell you how many veterans, some obviously wounded in Iraq, stopped to tell me what a great book this is. I'm sure it was more than a dozen. In George W. Bush's America, they were grateful that Franken told the truth about why we were really fighting overseas and the right wing media that helped the administration sell the war to the American people. Perhaps the need for this book se ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Samantha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liberals & Conservatives alike
Another gem by Al Franken. The difference, to me, between how Al Franken writes and how, say, Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly write (or Rush Limbaugh, for that matter), is this: He researches. He goes to the source of information for clarification. He backs up what he's saying with other sources instead of spewing his opinion and calling it fact. He doesn't say, "I have said it, so it must be true."

And? He's funny and clever as all hell.

The Truth, of course is his follow-up to Lies and focuses more
Jarrod Jenkins
Don't remember this or Franken's other book. In fairness, this review comes more than a year and a half after reading the book. Franken just struck me as a petty, snide little man trying to make up for the fact he wasn't popular back in the day and was probably picked last in gym. See what I did there: attacked him instead of any point he actually makes in the book? Gee, maybe I can get a book deal now too.
It's hard to disagree with the basic view in this book, but partly because it only covers the most egregious behavior displayed by recent politicians. If you like Al Franken, you'll like this book; if you don't, you won't get much from it.
Marty Ross
Pretty nice that I happened to be reading this when he finally became the junior senator from Minnesota. Makes me almost wish I lived there. Almost. I prefer to enjoy my summers. Anyway, it was a rather prescient book in terms of what ended up happening in the 2006 midterm elections, and he painted an accurate picture with regard how Bush won his second term; scare tactics and smears. What the American people got was rather disappointing (to say the least). Bungling know-nothing bureaucrats shov ...more
Nov 21, 2008 Kirsti rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: angry liberals
Recommended to Kirsti by: angry liberals
Best idea: If we want to win Iraqis' hearts and minds, we should start protecting their chests and heads.

I finally felt able to read this now that Obama's been elected.

Good luck, Al! Just a couple of hundred votes to go!!

Rich Baker
Excellent book. I highly recommend the audio book as Al Franken's comedic timing and voice are amazing. It's a dated book. When it came out it was about recent history. Reading it in 2014 feels like I'm reading about straight up history. But history is great and he dishes out so much great info. If his statements are true and the evidence he presents to back them up good then the Republicans were awful. I'm not saying he was definitely right about everything, but he sounds genuine and he present ...more
I love traveling, especially overseas. But the thing I truly hate when I go is remembering that pretty much every European I meet knows more about American politics than I do. This phenomenon could perhaps best be explained by our respected legacy following WWII, globalization (see McDonalds), Hollywood (see Dallas), questionable foreign policy (see Operation Iraqi Freedom) and the flying circus of media representation, reporting both a skewed version of American values (see misconceptions about ...more
David Cupples
Not nearly as fun as Lies and Liars and perhaps not too many of us are interested in reading at this late date about such topics as Karl Roves dirty tricks, the Swife-boating of John Kerry, W's monstrous war in Iraq. And to be honest, to get the full truth one has to go to independent journalists and commentators like Chomsky, Zinn, Greenwald, Nader, etc. Democrats are not above reproach

Review by author of Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government.
This book is not as good as the first "Lies ...etc." I may be feeling this since I read it immediately after (and not before) Lies. I was a bit saturated, I guess by book 2. A few that claimed to be of the "Left" panned it because the thought it was "mean-spiritied" I have little patience for this evaluation. It's satire. And it probably strikes a cord with the choir of the faithful (UGH! I hate that word).

Maybe it doesn't work in places or at all, but mean-spirited is simply not a valid reactio
Conclusion: I really do like Al Franken. This book is funny, moving, infuriating, and revealing– particularly with reference to Carl Rove and Tom Delay. What disgusting human beings. Obviously, Al Franken shares a great many of my beliefs, and that’s one thing that he has going for him, but really, after listening to this, if you’re still able to admire and support the Bush *regime* I can’t understand it. I’m pained that the interests of certain special interests groups have been served more tha ...more
Just got this back from a friend I'd lent it to after reading it when it came out, and re-read it over the weekend. Franken's writing style makes it easy to blow through a book over a few days. Like Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which was heavier on the funny and lighter on the serious stuff, The Truth is an entertaining book, but not a great one. If you agree with Franken (which I do), you're going to laugh at the jokes he sprinkles into his presentation of facts with which you're pro ...more
It seems I'm doing everything in my power to PUT OFF this final Thesis for my LAST QC course. I picked this one up for one dollar at a B&N weekend sale. Franken always makes me laugh, and you gotta, especially when it comes to the mess we've been in since Jan. 21, 2001. I mean, if we don't laugh, we'd probably be in the LUNY-BIN!

I'm only on page 50, but Franken has given the facts with his little twists of humor, like maybe only Michael Moore can. Still, I wish there were a bit more verbati
Simon Wood

Written in the deep dark days after George W. Bush's first election victory (2004), Al Franken's "The Truth With Jokes" must have been therapeutic for those in the United States who were horrified at the results of his first term and were counting on a Democratic victory to put things right.

Franken begins with a dissection of the Republican parties election strategy - Fear! - with extremely sharp wit that certainly puts to shame many of the British Political Comedians I've r
I love Al Fraken and I loved Lies but I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. :-/ As much as it pains me to say it, Al Fraken seems to have gotten more bitter after the first book and it kinda bleeds through in his jokes... One of the things I had liked about Lies was that it took a lot of horrible things that were going on, informed you about them, and you could still laugh about it and want to do something about it. It was uplifting, basically, because of the humor, and so few political books ...more
Blair Conrad
I watch the Daily Show semi-regularly, so I thought I was used to hearing the Republicans being slammed, but whoa baby. I’ve come out of reading The Truth with a greater disdain for the current U.S. administration than before. I realize that Franken’s probably taking some liberties, but if even half of what he says is true (and it feels right), these are some nasty nasty people. In addition, even if the book were all lies, it’d be worth reading just for the funny. He really knows how to hit my b ...more
Part watching paint dry ~ I had to skip through most of the 911 stuff, it is very detailed and I appreciate that he went throught the official reports, but I'll just skip to being angry all over again, without the excruciating details; part fascinting - the Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay stuff about the Indian gaming & Saipan factories was disgusting and outrageous, I cannot believe that every American does not know about and care deeply about the events and the hypocricy surrounding them, enou ...more
One thing I hate about buying current events book is that they become obsolete so quickly. I picked this up when it came out in 2005. I think it is fair to say that Al Franken's first book was my gateway into politics (I'm sure that makes a lot of people cringe, but oh well), and I've had a lot of affection for him ever since. But 2005 was a particularly depressing time to be a liberal, and I found that I'd outgrown Al. It's not that he isn't a good writer or that he doesn't have a firm grasp of ...more
as much as I want to believe this is just as biased as the hate filled ranting of Ann Coulter and Pat O'Riely...all of Al's observations have the "ring of truth", it makes sense, everything fits. I have never been satisfied with the right's claim that liberals just "hate freedom" seriously who hates freedom? Liberals hate the freedom rich and powerful people have to exploit the poor? that makes sense! Not only does Al give us a more plausible view of the events of the era, but he gives us a sens ...more
I totally heart Al Franken, his humor, his politics and his method for building an argument (including the footnotes and 20 pages of sources). I also recognize that he's not for everyone. My dad, for example. Franken is openly liberal and openly comedic from that position, which combine to make him seem bias to some people who will never read his work as a result. I can even understand that. So as I was reading The Truth with Jokes, I was wishing that Franken would publish an abbreviated edition ...more
Sep 24, 2007 Anthony rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the choir to whom Franken is preaching; anyone with an afternoon to kill
I usually start reading Al Franken books in airports, because when you have a little time to kill it's really gratifying to pick up a book that lets you slam through 50 pages without trying. Then two years ago I was at a used bookstore while visiting my sister and happened upon a cheap copy of Lies and the Lying Liars, so I picked it up and was half done by the time I flew out a day later. Now I consider it a sort of tradition to buy Al Franken books and leave them at Syl's place for me to read ...more
Joey Warner
Sep 05, 2007 Joey Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Al Franken and political humor
I like Al Franken, I really do: his passion, his dry wit; he's a very fine writer. And on one hand I love it that the Democrats have a crusader like him, and his message that his political party really effed it up in the last two elections by responding to Conservative slander by turning the other cheek, taking the "higher road," is right on. I agree that Democrats have to fight back and get their hands dirty.

On the other, I find his generalizations about Republicans not just irritating, but pe
Al Young
I never read the charmingly titled Lies and the Lying Liars who tell Them, but Franken has made the move from telling political one-liners and gags to becoming a serious commentator. The Truth is way too partisan to appeal to anyone outside the ideology, but like similar books from both sides of the aisles, it will be very readable to those who agree with him.

For those who likes Franken radio shows, the book treads the same line- funny, but it's intent is to argue GOP talking points and offers a
"The Truth (With Jokes)" is long on both the truth AND the jokes. Al Franken, the author of such hard-hitting (and also very funny) books as "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" and "Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at The Right" and now Senator Franken from Minnesota, hit another one out of the park. Less funny the the other political texts I mentioned, it is a much more series book on the state of politics, and political malfeasance in particular, in America. Thou ...more
Debbie P
Don't read this book if you have no desire to throw your shoes at Bush, and you think he was qualified to be president based on his stellar military and business record and you think he's earned worldwide respect for America and you think the Iraq war was worth it and you fight terrorism by shopping -- no sacrifice.

Don't read this book if you like torture, the state of the economy, the deficit, Patriot Act, the brain trust of Rumsfeld & Ashcroft, and giving medals to people that screwed up
Linda Schell
I enjoyed Franken's book "Lies," but I liked "The Truth" more. In both audio books he is hysterical, in keeping with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Franken does a skilled and convincing pantomime of each person he's talking about. I had no idea what a smart and well-educated man Franken is. One of the reasons I'm taking the time to offer my opinion about "The Truth," is that in my opinion his point of view and his manner of expressing himself is not too hard on the ears of my friends who sit t ...more
Resistance is Futile
This is my first Al Franken book, so I can’t compare it with his past books. There seem to be an awful lot of angry reviews about it! I got a few good chuckles out of the book, both at Franken and with Franken. Of course he’s so biased that his left leg is probably 2 feet shorter than the right—but that’s to be expected. One thing I had to laugh at was when he said (paraphrase): “the one thing that doesn’t lie is numbers.” And then he quoted a bunch of stats. I’m not sure if that was supposed to ...more
Ira Livingston
Another book that I read pre-election time. Very well written, and caused me to vote for him, as at the end I just felt he was going to run-- it made me cry to think he had to become tainted with politics in order to change anything. It makes me reflect on what I can do to change the country's situation.
A book of its time, and that time was during Frankin's "right-wing media is the problem" period. Nothing dates faster than political humor and observations about media heroes, and this book was out of date virtually by the time it was published.

Not quite as Laugh out Loud funny as "Lies..." but still very good, well researched, and thorough. This one actually made me very angry because it reminded me of all that happened in the dark Bush years. But that's what this author does best, it seems, write about current events and America's political reality, all while making you laugh. It's just that the events of 2001- 2009 (Bush's presidency) were so fucked up that hearing about them again makes you want to scream! Well at least now we can ...more
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Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, writer, progressive political commentator, and, recently, politician. He gained fame as a writer and a performer for Saturday Night Live, eventually writing and appearing in several films. Since then, Franken has become more known for his political commentary, writing numerous bestselling books and hosting a nationally-syndicated ...more
More about Al Franken...
Lies & the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair & Balanced Look at the Right Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot Why Not Me? Oh, the Things I Know! I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, & Doggone It, People Like Me!

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