Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Dennis Prager'
Start a new discussion about 'Dennis Prager'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Dennis Prager is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 political and social views emanating from conservative Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 values. He holds that there is an "American Trinity" of essential principles, which he lists as E Pluribus Unum
E pluribus unum
E pluribus unum , Latin for "Out of many, one", is a phrase on the Seal of the United States, along with Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum, and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782...

, In God We Trust
In God We Trust
"In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. It is also the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. The Legality of this motto has been questioned because of the United States Constitution forbidding the government to make any law respecting the establishment of a...

, and Liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

. He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

 of Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

. He taught Jewish and Russian History at Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, located in Brooklyn, New York, United States.Established in 1930 by the New York City Board of Higher Education, the College had its beginnings as the Downtown Brooklyn branches of Hunter College and the City College of New...

, 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
Harriman Institute
The Harriman Institute, the first academic center in the United States devoted to the interdisciplinary study of Russia and the Soviet Union, was founded at Columbia University in 1946, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, as the Russian Institute....

) and Middle East Institute from 1970-1972. He has lectured in 46 states and on six continents and traveled in 100 countries and the 50 U.S. states. He speaks French, Russian, and Hebrew, and has lectured in Russian in Russia and in Hebrew in Israel. An avid classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 lover, he periodically conducts orchestras in Southern California.

Early life


Raised in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Prager attended Yeshiva Rambam from kindergarten through 8th grade and Yeshiva of Flatbush for high school, where he met his future co-author Joseph Telushkin
Joseph Telushkin
Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and author.-Biography:Telushkin attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, was ordained at Yeshiva University, and studied Jewish history at Columbia University....

 in the 10th grade. Prager attended Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, located in Brooklyn, New York, United States.Established in 1930 by the New York City Board of Higher Education, the College had its beginnings as the Downtown Brooklyn branches of Hunter College and the City College of New...

 majoring in Middle Eastern Studies
Middle Eastern studies
Middle Eastern studies is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally interpreted to cover a range of nations extending from North Africa in the west to the Chinese...

 and History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

; he graduated in 1970. He went on to study at the Russian Institute (now the Harriman Institute
Harriman Institute
The Harriman Institute, the first academic center in the United States devoted to the interdisciplinary study of Russia and the Soviet Union, was founded at Columbia University in 1946, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, as the Russian Institute....

) at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. Prager is distantly related to San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

 player Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili
Emanuel David "Manu" Ginóbili is an Argentine professional basketball player. Coming from a family of professional basketball players, he is a member of the Argentine men's national basketball team and the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association .Ginóbili spent the early part of...

 , and he is a big fan.

Political views


In his articles, broadcasts, and lectures, Prager states that the U.S. is engaged in a "second non-violent civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

" "culture war
Culture war
The culture war in American usage is a metaphor used to claim that political conflict is based on sets of conflicting cultural values. The term frequently implies a conflict between those values considered traditionalist or conservative and those considered progressive or liberal...

" over the fundamental moral values on which he believes American society was built. Prager argues that many influential American institutions (including universities, trial lawyers, labor unions, the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

, civil rights groups, and most large newspapers and television networks) are dominated by "secular leftists," who, he says, 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
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 special. Prager can be heard Monday through Friday, 9 to noon (Pacific), noon to 3pm (Eastern) in most major markets on the Salem Radio Network.

Controversy involving Keith Ellison


Prager in early 2009 accused Congressman Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison (politician)
Keith Maurice Ellison is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The district centers on Minneapolis. He was re-elected in 2010. Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.He is the first Muslim to be elected to the...

, a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, of taking the oath of office in a photo-op reenactment of the actual oath with the Islamic Quran. Prager stated that America was "imperiled" by Ellison taking the oath on the Quran in substitution of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 as the Bible, "the moral basis of American civilization" in Prager's view, had never before been replaced by another religious work. Some conservative commentators such as Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson
Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson is an American political news correspondent and conservative commentator for the Fox News Channel...

 were critical of this position, pointing out that the US Constitution requires no religious test
Religious test
The Test Act of 1673 in England obligated all persons filling any office, civil or military, to take oaths of supremacy and allegiance, to subscribe to a declaration against transubstantiation, and to receive the sacrament within three months of taking office....

. Carlson stated: "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. …it's hard for me to believe I'm defending the Koran here. But that document [the Constitution] says very clearly no religious test will ever be required for holding office and you're implying holding up a religious test. …If you don't believe in the God at the very center [of] that document [the Christian Bible], you still have to acknowledge the centrality of the document? With respect, that doesn't make sense. …Here we have a Jew pushing a Muslim to use the Christian Bible. This is - that's America."

Published works


Prager's columns are handled by Creators Syndicate
Creators Syndicate
Creators Syndicate is an independent distributor of comic strips and syndicated columns for daily newspapers. It was founded in 1987 by Richard S. Newcombe, and is based in Los Angeles. Creators was one of the first syndicates to allow its clients to maintain creative control of their material...

. He wrote for the Sunday Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

"Current" section, and writes a weekly column published in newspapers such as the Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner is a free daily newspaper published in Springfield, Virginia, and distributed in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz....

and online at Townhall.com
Townhall.com
Townhall.com is a web-based publication primarily dedicated to conservative United States politics. It was previously operated by the Heritage Foundation, but is now owned and operated by Salem Communications...

, National Review Online, Jewish World Review
Jewish World Review
Jewish World Review is a free, online magazine updated Monday through Friday , which seeks to appeal to "people of faith and those interested in learning more about contemporary Judaism from Jews who take their religion seriously."It carries informational articles related to Judaism, dozens of...

and elsewhere. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

He is also the author of four books:
  • Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and author.-Biography:Telushkin attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, was ordained at Yeshiva University, and studied Jewish history at Columbia University....

    ) (1986) ISBN 0-6716-2261-7
  • Think a Second Time (1996) ISBN 0-0609-8709-X
  • Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (1999) ISBN 0-0609-8735-9
  • Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (with Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and author.-Biography:Telushkin attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, was ordained at Yeshiva University, and studied Jewish history at Columbia University....

    ) (2003) ISBN 0-7432-4620-9

External links