Prager speaking at the California Capitol Building, 2008
August 2, 1948 |
New York City
|Alma mater||Brooklyn College
|Occupation||Radio host, political commentator, author, and television personality|
|Spouse(s)||Janice Adelstein (1981–1986; divorced; 1 child)
Francine Stone (1988–2005; divorced; 1 child)
Susan Reed (2008–present)
Dennis Prager (//; born August 2, 1948) is an American nationally syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for his political and social views, his views on the origins of moral values, and for his work on happiness. He views America and morality as grounded in "Judeo-Christian" values. He states that there is an "American Trinity" of essential principles, which he lists as "E Pluribus Unum", "In God We Trust", and "Liberty", expressions that appear on United States coins.
Life and career
Prager was raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Hilda and Max Prager. He attended Yeshiva Rambam and Rabbi Jacob Joseph Jewish day schools, and the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School, where he met his future co-author Joseph Telushkin. He majored in Middle Eastern studies and history at Brooklyn College, graduating cum laude in 1970. He went on to study at the Russian Institute (now Harriman Institute) at Columbia University. He speaks and lectures in several foreign languages, including Russian and Hebrew. He taught Jewish and Russian History at Brooklyn College, and was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he did his graduate work at the Russian Institute (now the Harriman Institute) and Middle East Institute from 1970 to 1972. He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.
He also started "Prager University", a virtual online institution that creates five-minute educational videos on subjects as varied as the minimum wage, the Middle East Crisis, and happiness. In 2014, it has garnered some 14 million views. Contributors include Pulitzer-Prize winning columnists George Will and Bret Stephens; British historians Paul Johnson and Andrew Roberts; American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks; Harvard University Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz; former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar; UCLA Professor of Economics Tim Groseclose; Stanford University Professor of Political Science Terry Moe; UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer; author and television commentator Jonah Goldberg; ethics philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers; member of South African parliament, Kenneth Meshoe; author and economist George Gilder; Notre Dame Professor of History, Father Wilson Miscamble; Rabbi Joseph Telushkin; Boston College Professor of Philosophy Peter Kreeft; Bruce Herschensohn; UCLA Professor of Economics Lee Ohanian; Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner; and Nicholas Eberstadt of the Harvard School of Public Health and the American Enterprise Institute. New Prager University videos are added once a week.
Contrary to previous Wikipedia entries, Prager is not related to San Antonio Spurs player Manu Ginobili.
Views and opinions
Prager states that the United States is engaged in a culture war over the fundamental moral values on which American society was built. He argues that influential institutions including universities, labor unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, civil rights groups, as well as trial lawyers and most large newspapers and television networks are dominated by "secular leftists". He says they attack and misrepresent Judeo-Christian values and their positive historical effect upon America and the world. In 2005, 24 of his columns were devoted to explaining those values and how he believes they make the United States special.
In light of that, he wrote in 2006 that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not take his Congressional oath using a Koran because "American civilization" has been based on the Bible and its values, and because an oath on another religious text would be unprecedented. Prager explained that though he is a religious Jew and therefore only holds the Old Testament sacred, he would take his oath of office on a Bible that included both the Old Testament and the New Testament, as he would honor a tradition that goes back to President George Washington, and because that is the Bible in which nearly all Americans believe. In response, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch called for Prager to end to his service on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. On December 4, in an interview with Prager, Tucker Carlson also criticized this, saying: "I'm no great defender of the Koran but I'm not sure why America is imperiled by Keith Ellison's taking the oath on it." In response, Prager explained, "It's not imperiled by his taking the oath on it, it's imperiled for substituting the Bible for the first time since George Washington had a Bible at his inauguration...The question is not what he believes in. The question is, 'what is the central text of the American value system?' That‘s why I think this is important. Otherwise I couldn't care less."
Prager has condemned two "libels" of Israel. In 2011, Prager called Israel's apartheid analogy "a libel". And in 2014 he labelled the charge of Israeli "genocide" a libel. He believes that the genesis of the Israeli-Arab conflict is that "Israel would like to exist and recognizes the right of the Palestinians to have a state; the Palestinians, however, and many other Muslims and Arabs, do not recognize the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist."
Prager's columns are handled by Creators Syndicate. He has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Commentary. His weekly syndicated column appears on such online websites as Townhall.com, National Review Online, Jewish World Review and elsewhere. He also writes a bi-weekly column for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
He is also the author of five books:
- The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin) (1986) ISBN 0-671-62261-7
- Think a Second Time (44 Essays on 44 Subjects) (1996) ISBN 0-06-098709-X
- Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (1999) ISBN 0-06-098735-9
- Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (with Joseph Telushkin) (2003) ISBN 0-7432-4620-9
- Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (2012) ISBN 0061985120
His books have been translated into Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
- Marnell Jameson (1998-02-04). "Mr. Morality". The Los Angeles Times.
- Sarah A. Vitale. "Who's who in California, Volume 20". Google Books.
- The Dennis Prager Show
- Title=Dennis Explains The Middle East Problem http://buzzpo.com/dennis-prager-simply-explains-middle-east-problem Title=Dennis Explains The Middle East Problem. Missing or empty
- "The second American civil war: what it's about - Dennis Prager - Page full". Townhall.com. October 14, 2003. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Moral absolutes: Judeo-Christian values: Part XI – Dennis Prager – Townhall Conservative Columnists – Page 1
- Town Hall.com/columns=Prager University
- Dennis Prager (November 28, 2006). "America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on". American Thinker.
- Dennis Prager Controversy in Joining the US Holocaust Memorial Museum from Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project.
- 'Tucker' for Dec. 4
- "Dennis Prager: Is Israel an Apartheid State?". World Jewish Congress. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Israel -- an Apartheid State?". RealClearPolitics. August 30, 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "The Middle East Problem". Prager University. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Prager page on Creators.com
- Breaking News and Conservative Opinion on Politics – Townhall
- www.dennisprager.com — official site
- Prager University
- Dennis Prager at the Internet Movie Database
- Prager's books at Amazon.com
- Dennis Prager Features at Creators Syndicate
- Townhall columns
- Dennis Prager Biography
- Why Are Atheists So Angry? A Debate Between Prager and Sam Harris
- Booknotes interview with Prager on Think a Second Time, February 4, 1996.