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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
     

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

4.0 27
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

Overview

#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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/17/2017
In this excellent, insightful memoir, comedian turned senator Franken recalls his unlikely path to public service. He was raised in a middle-class family in a Minneapolis suburb, tried to launch his comedy career while still an undergraduate at Harvard University, and found success when he landed a gig in 1975 as one of the original script writers on Saturday Night Live. He and his colleagues, some of them fueled by alcohol and drugs, indulged in late-night writing sessions that made the show’s sketches part of the cultural lexicon. The heart of this memoir is Franken’s decision to move back to Minnesota from New York City to run for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman. Franken’s decision seemed rather quixotic at first, and the 2008 campaign was notable for GOP denunciations of Franken’s satirical writings as well as his wife’s public disclosure of her struggles with alcoholism. Coleman initially won by 725 votes, which triggered an automatic recount that gave Franken the victory by 312 votes. Due to repeated legal challenges from Coleman, however, Franken wasn’t seated until July 2009. Not surprisingly, Franken is quite a raconteur, and he tells the story of his remarkable life and times with a sense of humor that is always irreverent and often self-deprecating. One thing is no joke, however: he’s very serious about his job representing the people of Minnesota. (May)
Library Journal
01/01/2017
How celebrated comedian Franken got from Saturday Night Live to the U.S. Senate; with a 325,000-copy first printing.
From the Publisher
"The best political book of 2017."—Alex Shephard, The New Republic

"In this excellent, insightful memoir, comedian turned senator Franken recalls his unlikely path to public service...Franken is quite a raconteur, and he tells the story of his remarkable life and times with a sense of humor that is always irreverent and often self-deprecating."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a great book about politics. No joke...Compulsively readable [with] laugh-out-loud lines in every chapter."—Booklist Starred Review

"[AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE] may...be the funniest memoir by a sitting - standing, recumbent, squatting - U.S. senator. Scratch that 'may.' It surely is. This is a genuinely funny book, often hilarious...the Senate, and the country, would be the poorer without him. He's an American original."—Christopher Buckley, The Washington Post

"Admirably incautious...Franken has weaponized the gifts that proved so useful for comedy - a sharp eye, a sharper tongue, the ability to tease out the essential absurdity of a given situation and deliver the goods with maximum impact."—Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone

"In a breezy, funny, biting, and often earnest read, Franken pulls off what many of his congressional colleagues have failed to do: write...an interesting and honest memoir."—Sam Brodey, MinnPost.com

"A fun and compelling book. [Franken] uses self-deprecating humor to poke fun at everyone on either side of the aisle, and he gives readers insight into the daily workings of life in the Senate. His love of the people and the state of Minnesota is crystal clear."—Jeff Ayers, AP

"With this book, Franken is both resistance leader and family counselor...A hilarious guide to what happens when a comedian runs for Congress."—The Nation

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455540419
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/30/2017
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
22
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.50(d)

Videos

Meet the Author

Senator Al Franken graduated from Harvard College. Before running for office, Al spent 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host, and has taken part in seven USO tours, visiting our troops overseas in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Al was first elected to the United States Senate in 2008 and re-elected (by a much larger margin) in 2014. He and his wife, Franni, have been married for 40 years, many of them happy. They have two children and two grandchildren, with a third on the way.

Brief Biography

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

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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months 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 3 months ago
Perfect combo of autobiogrphy and insight into the politcal process
Anonymous 3 months 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 3 months 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 29 days 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 4 months 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 1 days ago
Al Franken should pay us to read his mental vomit put into words.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Funny while giving you a great view of Washington politics.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Totally boring.
Anonymous 10 days 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.
bookladygran 17 days ago
Doesn't matter what your political position is. Everyone should read this book to better understand what happens when someone is running for office, and what happens when they get there. Intelligent, insightful, and made me smile quite a few times.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Amazing book! Funny and informational! Doing a video review of this book on my podcast called "Bull Moose" on Youtube within a couple of days...
Anonymous 23 days 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 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Enjoyed the book & AL Franken & his wife????!!!!
TheReadingWriter 4 months 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 4 months ago
MontzieW 4 months 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 27 days ago
Gives us hope!
Anonymous 28 days ago
Dare I say ..... the "new" Mark Twain?..good book...funny..and I think an honest one
Anonymous 29 days ago
Good read - serious, funny book.
NookSwami 3 months ago
Great book!
Anonymous 4 months ago
How Al gave up comedy for comity.
Anonymous 3 months ago
It is incredulous Franken's title for this book since the opposite is actually more truthful. This entire book is disingenuous because it is offered by a narcissistic individual. The storyline in this book borders on being invective.
Anonymous 4 months ago