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Think a Second Time Paperback – August 30, 1996

75 customer reviews

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Think a Second Time + Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual + The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A self-described "highly passionate moderate," radio and TV commentator Prager offers a series of brief essays on current and eternal topics, grounded in his Jewish sense of ethics that is more accessible than preachy. Prager says a politician's adultery matters little; his or her "public actions and speech" count the most. Despite such dissents from the moralistic position, Prager is a strong critic of liberalism, decrying its supporters' attitudes toward church-state separation, abortion, capital punishment and race. He has little sympathy with portraying the Los Angeles rioters of 1992 as victims: "moral people control their rage, and immoral people don't." Yet his call to ban affirmative action while encouraging employers to "recruit and train blacks" seems somewhat myopic. Prager recognizes that most people are diverted from moral issues; his solution to evil is "ethical monotheism" (a term made popular by the Jewish thinker Leo Baeck), warning against attention to false gods like art or compassion. However, he warns against expecting God to prevent our suffering; leading a religious life, he asserts, is a reward in itself. $100,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Dennis Prager, the commentator whose large and devoted following has made his radio talk shows and his national television show the most popular programs in their time slots, now offers his audience more food for thought with these impassioned essays on today's toughest issues. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006098709X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060987091
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dennis Prager, one of America's most respected thinkers, is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and syndicated columnist. He has written four books, including the #1 bestseller Happiness Is a Serious Problem. He has lectured on all seven continents and may be contacted through his website,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on May 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dennis Prager sets himself two closely related tasks in this volume: to provoke his readers to "think a second time" about matters we may have taken for granted, and to prod us to care more about ethical behavior than we do about pretty much anything else. He succeeds at both jobs.
Prager's basic contention is that ethical monotheism is the necessary foundation of all moral thought and practice. While ethical monotheism was revealed to and through the Jewish people, it does not demand that everybody in the world convert to Judaism; however, Jewish thought has traditionally set aside a group of ethical laws (called the "Noahide laws") which are binding on all humankind. (Here he is of course on very solid ground.)
Throughout this work, Prager -- who describes himself as a "passionate moderate" -- applies the insights of traditional, historic Judaism to a host of pertinent social issues, thinking the issues through carefully and insightfully to sometimes surprising conclusions.
I won't discuss his conclusions in this review because that would undermine one of Prager's purposes in writing the book in the first place. Having spent so many years working in the media, he's not expecting many (or even any) of his readers to agree with him about everything; though of course he is committed to his own particular conclusions, what he _most_ wants to do here is to stimulate thought and debate.
He's good at it, so I'm going to leave that job to him. If you want to know what he thinks -- or, more importantly, _how_ he thinks -- you're just going to have to read the book!
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75 of 82 people found the following review helpful By J. Lizzi on December 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
After reading "Happiness is a Serious Problem," which I enjoyed immensely, I felt compelled to look into Dennis Prager's ideas concerning a number of other interesting topics. In more ways than one, "Think a Second Time" has much to offer one who loves to delve into controversial topics.
In my opinion, Mr. Prager is a superb thinker and an excellent writer who has a gift for expounding on social and political issues from a perspective other than our typical "knee jerk" reaction elicited by the media. I applaud the way he exposes issues and counters conventional wisdom (read "bias") with sound logic and philosophical acumen. At other times, however, he can be a little too forceful in his convictions as they relate to matters of [his] faith and religion. That's good for him, surely, but in my opinion it occasionally knocks the flow of this book out of kilter.
The 47 chapters in this book are divided into four parts with different themes. The first part, which is superb, deals with human nature, gender differences, family issues and the media.
Part Two, also excellent, gets a little heavier, and discusses political (e.g., liberalism vs. conservatism), racial and religious issues. Check out the chapter on television news.
Part Three deals almost entirely with ethical monotheism (i.e., the belief in one God from whom emanates one morality) and its association with the "good vs. evil" dilemma. This is where you might get bogged down with the author's passionate Jewish convictions. I didn't come across anything totally eye opening here, but I did find the references to Hebrew writings to be somewhat interesting.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. on August 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
OK, the title of my review might seem a little overboard, but I can't stress enough how important this book is. One of Prager's favorite statements is "Clarity is more important than agreement", and he is brilliantly clear at articulating the need for a universal morality that come from a universal source. This is the definition of ethical monotheism, which he shows as the supreme value to which all of humanity must aspire. He stresses why a universal morality is even more important that life, love and compassion. When these beautiful values are rendered supreme, good and evil lose their relevance.

One of the greatest epiphanies I pulled from the book was the importance of distinguishing between the person-to-person laws (ethics), which are the supreme value, and the person-to-God laws (holiness). He stresses all holiness laws must, by definition, be ethical, but not all ethical laws are necessarily holy. Therefore, acts like pre-marital sex between consenting adults, attending a strip club, etc., may not elevate us from our primal tendencies, so they are therefore not holy. But as long as these acts don't result in treating others differently from how we would hope and expect to be treated, the acts are not necessarily immoral. Sadly, he states, many religious people from all faiths stress the importance of their dogma and rituals above morality--they stress the holiness laws above the ethical laws--and that is when religion is abused and gets a bad name.

There are many discoveries like these which I found immensely instructive. Prager is a man with the gift of being able to brilliantly articulate what he care most about, as stated by many: getting people obsessed with what is right and wrong.
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