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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Cover of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

#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 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Tahoma; color: #212121; -webkit-text-stroke: #212121} span.s1 {font-kerning: none}


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.


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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 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Tahoma; color: #212121; -webkit-text-stroke: #212121} span.s1 {font-kerning: none}


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.


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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 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.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2017
    The nation's funniest senator speaks of the strange ways of government by "old white men."Franken, the Democratic senator from Minnesota and survivor of the early years of Saturday Night Live, is a definitively humorous fellow and about as candid as any politician can be expected to be. As he opens this memoir/user's manual, he recounts that he is asked from time to time whether holding a seat in the Senate is as much fun as having been on SNL back in the glory days, to which his response is, "why would it be?" Why, indeed? He finds that his stock is increased among his Republican counterparts, however, when they learn that he knew Broderick Crawford, the tough hero of the classic law-and-order TV series Highway Patrol--proving, he says, precisely the oldness and whiteness of the legislative body, and mostly for the worse. Along the way, Franken is open about discussing his wife's alcoholism and the effect it had on his first run for the Senate; far from being a liability, voters appreciated both the humanity and humility of their openness about the problem and Franken's loyalty alike. The same problem was more insidious with the author's erstwhile comedy partner Tom Davis; suffice it to say, as Franken does, that his reaction to the addiction "had made me a much less pleasant person to be around." If anything, the author comes off as affable without being overly yielding, friendly but ready to scrap, and an unabashed devotee of the "Hillary Model": "Be a workhorse, not a showhorse. Go to all your hearings. Come early, stay late. Do your homework. Don't do national press. Be accessible to your state media and to your constituents." And though he allows that Republicans "are just awful," he also holds that Democrats have to accommodate the fact that they exist and try to get things done with them--all except maybe Ted Cruz. Here's how the sausage is made on Capitol Hill--and in Franken's case, made with a smile.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2017
    How celebrated comedian Franken got from Saturday Night Live to the U.S. Senate; with a 325,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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