The 2015 “First Semester DVD” is a collection of 25 courses from the first 6 months of 2015. Here at PragerU, you’ll find some of the brightest thinkers presenting their best ideas in five minutes. Arthur Brooks, Alan Dershowitz, Eric Metaxas, Chloe Valdary, Tara Ross, and Nick Adams are just a few of the acclaimed thinkers whose free, 5-minute videos are available to you anytime you need them. Prager U DVDs would make a thoughtful birthday or holiday gift, a fantastic graduation gift, or a fine addition to your own DVD collection.
On this Prager U DVD, you will find some of the brightest thinkers presenting their best ideas in 5 minutes.
Topics and Speakers:
1) Are Israeli Settlements the Barrier to Peace? -Alan Dershowitz
Is Israel’s policy of building civilian communities in the West Bank the reason there’s no peace agreement with the Palestinians? Or would there still be no peace even if Israel removed all of its settlements and evicted Israeli settlers, as it did in Gaza in 2005? Renowned Harvard professor and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz explains.
2) Myths, Lies and Capitalism –Arthur Brooks
Does free enterprise hurt the poor? Is it unfair and driven by greed? Did it cause the Great Recession? In five minutes, Arthur Brooks answers these questions and more about capitalism.
3) How Dark Were the Dark Ages? –Anthony Esolen
Were the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages, characterized by oppression, ignorance, and backwardness in areas like human rights, science, health, and the arts? Or were they marked by progress and tolerance? Anthony Esolen, an English Literature professor at Providence College, explains.
4) Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist? –Haroon Ullah
Pakistan is the world’s fifth largest democracy. It is also deeply influenced by Islamic law (Sharia). Can these two traditions, Western Liberal democracy and Sharia, co-exist? If so, how? And if not, what are the consequences? Haroon Ullah, foreign policy professor at Georgetown University, has some fascinating and sobering answers.
5) Does Science Argue for or Against God? –Eric Metaxas
Why are we here? Literally. The latest science says we shouldn’t be. It says that the chance life exists at all is less than zero. So, is science the greatest threat to the idea of Intelligent Design or is science its greatest advocate? Best-selling author and lecturer, Eric Metaxas, poses this intriguing question and comes up with a very unexpected and challenging answer.
6) Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share? –Lee Ohanian
Do the rich pay their fair share of taxes? It’s not a simple question. First of all, what do you mean by rich? And how much is fair? What are the rich, whoever they are, paying now? Is there any tax rate that would be unfair? UCLA Professor of Economics, Lee Ohanian, has some fascinating and unexpected answers.
7) Israel’s Legal Founding –Alan Dershowitz
When the state of Israel was founded in 1948, it was done so with the approval of the United Nations. But today, Israel’s enemies routinely challenge the legitimacy of its very existence. So, under international law, who’s right? Israel? Or its enemies?
8) He Wants You –Dennis Prager
Men look at pretty women. That goes for men who are married, men who are dating, and men who are single. That’s their nature. But is this built-in attraction with the female body a threat to their spouse, girlfriend, or partner?
9) Is This the Most Important Date in U.S. History? –Richard McMillan
What was perhaps the most determinative date in American history? July 4, 1776? Pearl Harbor? September 11? How about…July 28, 1588. Richard McMillan, Professor of History at Pierce College, explains why that seemingly random date is so important.
10) Why America Invaded Iraq –Andrew Roberts
Why did America invade Iraq in 2003? Was it for oil? Or was it because Saddam Hussein was a mass-murdering dictator who harbored terrorists and threatened the region with Weapons of Mass Destruction? If it was the former, wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to just buy Iraq’s oil on the open market? And if it was the latter, why did Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry support President Bush? Noted British historian, Andrew Roberts, has the answers.
11) What is the University Diversity Scam? –Heather Mac Donald
America’s campuses, particularly those in California, spend tens of millions of dollars on administrators and programs to combat issues like sexism, homophobia, and racism on campus. But are these problems in any way prevalent at our universities? Or is this diversity bureaucracy a big waste of money? Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute explains.
12) Do We Have Free Will? –Frank Pastore
Do humans have free will or are our decisions entirely products of chemistry, physics, and genetics? Is there a difference between the brain and the mind? Could a neuroscientist with enough knowledge of our brains know every decision that we’ll make? The answers to these questions cut to the heart of what it means to be human.
13) Profits Are Progressive –Walter Williams
Is profit a dirty word? Would the world be better off without them? Or are profits progressive — the only thing that can move potatoes from Idaho to Manhattan and medicine from America to Africa? Professor and economist Walter Williams explains.
14) Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel –Alex Epstein
Every year on Earth Day we learn how bad humanity’s economic development is for the health of the planet. But maybe this is the wrong message. Maybe we should instead reflect on how human progress, even use of fossil fuels, has made our environment cleaner and healthier. Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains.
15) Don’t Judge Blacks Differently –Chloe Valdary
Does race trump truth? In a confrontation between police and perpetrators, what is more important? Facts or skin color? When protests morph into riots, do we excuse bad behavior based on race? If we do, how are we ever going to end racism? Chloe Valdary, a student at the University of New Orleans, confronts these critical questions and offers a compelling answer.
16) Coolidge: The Best President You Don’t Know –Amity Shlaes
Americans today place enormous pressure on presidents to “do something”…anything, to get the economy going. There was one president, though, Calvin Coolidge, who did “nothing” — other than shrink government. What happened? America’s economy boomed. Is there a lesson to be learned? Award-winning author, historian, and biographer Amity Shlaes thinks so.
17) Happiness Equation: U = I – R –Dennis Prager
Is there an equation that can accurately predict how happy you will be? There is. Can you control the inputs of that equation, and thus your own happiness? You can. How? Dennis Prager, author of the best-selling book, “Happiness is a Serious Problem”, explains.
18) The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College –Tara Ross
Right now, there’s a well-organized, below-the-radar effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless. It’s called the National Popular Vote, and it would turn our presidential elections into a majority-rule affair. Would this be good or bad? Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross explains.
19) Do You Understand the Electoral College? –Tara Ross
Do you understand what the Electoral College is? Or how it works? Or why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote? Author, lawyer and Electoral College expert Tara Ross does, and she explains that to understand the Electoral College is to understand American democracy.
20) Should America be the World’s Policeman? –Bret Stephens
Should America be the world’s policeman? Does the world even need a policeman? Or would humanity be better off if America weren’t the dominant military superpower? Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and foreign affairs expert Bret Stephens weighs in.
21) The Speech Every 2015 College Grad Needs to Hear –George Will
There were thousands of college commencement speeches around the country this year for the Class of 2015. But there was one missing — one very truthful, funny and witty speech that graduates should’ve heard, but didn’t. Well, here it is, spoken by George Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at the Washington Post.
22) Do Big Unions Buy Politicians? –Daniel DiSalvo
Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.
23) Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists? –Haroon Ullah
What makes someone become an Islamic extremist? Is it poverty? Lack of education? A search for meaning? Haroon Ullah, a senior State Department advisor and a foreign policy professor at Georgetown University, shares what he discovered while living in Pakistan.
24) Should Government Bail Out Big Banks? –Nichole Gelinas
Should the government bail out big banks that may otherwise go bankrupt? Or should it let them go under, as it did with Lehman Brothers in 2008? Economist Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has the answer, and it will have big implications for policymakers when they grapple with the next economic crisis.
25) What Makes America Different? –Nick Adams
Is America really that great? Or is the United States just like any other nation? Outsiders tend to be the best judge of character, and Nick Adams, a best-selling Australian author and political commentator, gives an outsider’s view of the USA.