Recorded on March 29, 2018 Washington Post columnist and author, George F. Will, sits down with Peter Robinson in Austin, Texas to chat about the current administration and America’s favorite pastime—baseball. They discuss politics in the age of polarization and the future of America. Will argues that Americans need to stop looking at presidents as moral exemplars and instead focus on the president as the head of the executive branch. Will and Robinson discuss a quote from his 1984 book, St...more
Recorded on February 27, 2018 What do Catholics think of Pope Francis’s changes to the Catholic Church? Ross Douthat explores that question in his new book, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. Douthat joins Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge to discuss his new book, his thoughts and critiques of Pope Francis, and the changing conception of divorce under Pope Francis’s ambiguous teachings. Douthat and Robinson spend a large portion of the episode discussing th...more
Recorded on February 25, 2018 “On Election Day in 2016, Donald Trump carried Ohio by eight percentage points. Our guest today carried the state by twenty-one. Senator of Ohio Rob Portman joins Peter Robinson at a special live taping of Uncommon Knowledge. They discuss the 2018 tax bill, the opioid crisis, the Parkland shootings, North Korea, and much more. Senator Portman stands by his decision to vote for the new tax bill as he has seen the benefits right in his home state. He recounts s...more
Natan Sharansky sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss Soviet communism and its impact on his personal life. He discusses his book Fear No Evil: The Classic Memoir of One Man’s Triumph over a Police State, which details a compelling account of his time in a Soviet prison and the inspiration he found in himself, the Hebrew Bible, and Ronald Reagan’s speeches about freedom. Sharansky realized through KGB interrogations and his time in prison that nobody but himself is responsible for his own hum...more
Recorded on January 25, 2018 Shelby Steele, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and author of Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country , joins Peter Robinson to discuss race relations in the United States. Steele tells stories about growing up in segregated Chicago and the fights he and his family went through to end segregation in their neighborhood schools. He draws upon his own experiences facing racism while growing up in order to inform his opinions on current events. Steel...more
Recorded on November 9, 2017 With social networks like Facebook and Twitter in abundance, the effects of networks on society in the twenty-first century are inarguable. However, Niall Ferguson, author of The Square and the Tower, argues that networks are not a new phenomenon and have been impacting human culture from the beginning of history. Niall Ferguson and Peter Robinson discuss networks and hierarchies throughout history in this episode of Uncommon Knowledge. Ferguson breaks down what...more
Recorded April 11, 2017 Historian James Wright, author of Enduring Vietnam: An America Generation and Its War, joins Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge to discuss the challenges and successes of the Vietnam War. They discuss why the Vietnam War mattered, how the United States entered the war, the changing feelings of Americans at the time of the war, and much more. Wright expands on how the Vietnam War fit into the greater strategy of the United States in the Cold War and why the United ...more
Recorded on October 23, 2017 Could the Axis powers have won? What are the counterfactuals for World War II? Find out in part two of this episode as military historian, editor of Strategika, and Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow Victor Davis Hanson joins Peter Robinson to discuss his latest book, The Second World Wars. Victor Davis Hanson explains the counterfactuals of World War II, the “what-ifs” that easily could have changed the outcome of the war. If Hitler had not attacked Russi...more
Recorded on October 23, 2017 How were the Axis powers able to instigate the most lethal conflict in human history? Find out in part one of this episode as military historian, editor of Strategika, and Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow, Victor Davis Hanson, joins Peter Robinson to discuss his latest book, The Second World Wars. Victor Davis Hanson explains how World War II initially began in 1939 as a multitude of isolated border blitzkriegs that Germany continued to win. In 1941, ever...more
Recorded on October 24, 2017 How old are entitlement programs in the United States? Entitlement programs are as old as the Republic, according to John Cogan, former deputy director of the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a Hoover Institution senior fellow. Cogan joins Peter Robinson to discuss his latest book, The High Cost of Good Intentions,on the necessity for entitlement reform in the United States. Currently there are a bevy of entitlement programs in the United States, eac...more
Recorded on February 14, 2017 Norman Naimark, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and an expert on Eastern Europe and genocides throughout history, brings his considerable expertise to Uncommon Knowledge to discuss the history of genocides from ancient to modern times. Peter Robinson sits down with Naimark to discuss his latest book, Genocide: A World History. Naimark argues that genocides occur throughout history, from biblical to modern times across the world. He considers genocides to be...more
Recorded on July 12, 2017 The Dilbert comic strip artist and political philosopher Scott Adams sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. He discusses with Peter his theory of “talent stacking,” the idea that rather than being an expert in one particular skill (i.e., Tiger Woods and golf), one can become successful by stacking a variety of complementary nonexpert skills. Adams demonstrates how talent stacking has been beneficial in hi...more
Recorded on July 23, 2017 Thirty years after Ronald Reagan’s famous denouncement of the Berlin Wall, Peter Robinson reflects on writing the Brandenburg Gate speech and why it was so important to include the now memorable words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, turns the tables on Uncommon Knowledge’s host, Peter Robinson, sitting him down in the interview chair to discuss that famous speech and his journey to becoming Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter. ...more
Recorded on July 12, 2017 Ayaan Hirsi Ali joins Peter Robinson to discuss her new book, The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Contain It, and her views on the challenges facing Western civilization in regards to political Islam. She argues that Islam needs to be separated into two different parts, one part of religion and the other part, political philosophy. She concedes that many aspects of the religious part of Islam are peaceful but argues that the poli...more
Recorded on February 27, 2017 In the latest episode from Uncommon Knowledge, Sir Roger Scruton, a formally trained political philosopher, talks about his life and the events he’s witnessed that led him to conservatism. He first embraced conservatism after witnessing the leftist student protests in France in May 1968. During the ensuing riots in Paris, more than three hundred people were injured. Scruton walked away from this event with a change in worldview and a strong leaning toward conserva...more
Recorded on June 10, 2017 Senator Rob Portman sits down with Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson to talk about the threats and problems related to Russia's meddling in democratic elections in the United States and around the world. Portman then discusses the complex process of health care reform, noting that the process has been difficult because health care is a complex issue that needs to be handled correctly. In the conversation about health care reform, Portman says that the number-one...more
Recorded on June 10, 2017 The forty-second governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, joins Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge to discuss Illinois’s budget crisis. With the end of the fiscal year deadline (June 30) looming ever closer Governor Rauner and House majority Democrats will have to come to an agreement to get the budget passed and prevent Illinois’s bond rating from being downgraded to junk, causing Illinois to lose investment-grade status. Peter Robinson and Governor Rauner discuss this ...more
Recorded on June 2, 2017 Senator Benjamin Sasse joins Peter Robinson to discuss his book The Vanishing American Adult and the growing crisis in America of prolonged adolescence. Senator Sasse argues that children are growing up, entering adolescence, and becoming stuck in the transitional stage to adulthood as they fail to become financially independent from their parents. He argues that because this generation of children is growing up during a time of relative peace and prosperity, it has all...more
Today, we’re introducing Area 45, a new political podcast from the team behind Uncommon Knowledge, The Classicist, and the Libertarian. Host Bill Whalen interviews Uncommon Knowledge’s host, Peter Robinson about presidential communication in this age of shock tweets and nonstop news cycles. Presidents are defined by rhetorical moments: Reagan and Kennedy at the Berlin Wall; George W. Bush rallying the nation after the 9/11 attacks. And Donald Trump? So far his presidency hasn’t been one of major...more
Recorded on May 11, 2017 John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney, director of the Office of Budget and Management, sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss the complex process of budget reform by having to blend President Trump's budget proposal with the realities of dealing with Congress. Mulvaney explains the need for bipartisanship in budget negotiations within the Senate to get the budget passed, which means getting at least eight Democrats to vote for the proposed budget (to get to the magic number o...more
Released May 18, 1996 In the 1996 first ever episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson discusses the origins of Uncommon Knowledge before invited guests former US attorney general Edwin Meese III and former San Jose police chief Joseph McNamara. They have a spirited debate about the war on drugs and the best way to handle the drug problem in the United States. According to Peter Robinson, “Ed Meese wants to win the war on drugs; Joe McNamara wants to end it.” Twenty-one years later, we look...more
Recorded on March 16, 2017 Although many people have heard of Carly Fiorina, former presidential candidate and first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, few have had the chance to sit down and speak with her. In this special live taping of Uncommon Knowledge, at the National Review Institute’s Idea Summit, with guest host Michael Franc, director of Hoover’s Washington, DC, Programs, Fiorina discusses the 2016 presidential election, her personal path to conservatism, ...more
Recorded on February 14, 2017 CEO Robin Hayes and Hoover Institution board member Joel Peterson talk to Peter Robinson about how JetBlue has remained successful, despite all the regulations, competition, and pitfalls of running an airline. Peterson and Hayes argue that consolidation and the limited number of airlines in the United States have allowed for sustainable operating margins. JetBlue continues to have double-digit operating margins and great customer loyalty by focusing on safe...more
Recorded on March 22, 2017 In a lively debate Avik Roy and John Podhoretz discuss health care coverage and whether the American Health Care Act (AHCA), created to replace Obamacare/Affordable Care Act (ACA), will solve our health care problems. They both agree that if we could begin again we would never design a health care system like ours, but, since we cannot start over, how can we make things better. They debate whether universal health care coverage is a good idea, how to provide health...more
Recorded on December 2, 2016 Professor Douglas Irwin defends the benefits of free trade and explains why protectionism, high tariffs, and currency wars could cause economic problems. Irwin explains the misconceptions around trade surpluses and deficits and the historical consequences and benefits of trade. He talks about an absolute versus comparative advantage with trade and why and how a trade deficit with China still benefits the United States. Irwin refers to Adam Smith’s view of trade in e...more
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas joins Peter Robinson to discuss the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, an immigration reformation bill he is cosponsoring. He notes that American workers have been getting a raw deal since the immigration laws were changed in 1965. The American workers’ wages have not gone up but income inequality has. Senator Cotton thinks this is largely due to flooding the labor market with millions of low-skilled, low-wage workers. In rethinking...more
Robert Costa, an American journalist who writes for the Washington Post, joins Peter Robinson to discuss his insights into president-elect Donald Trump after covering him for the past several years. Costa discusses Trump's mentality on running for president in 2011 compared with 2013, when he made a more serious effort. Costa explains how Trump, an Ivy League billionaire, is able to connect with blue-collar voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan based on his experience on The Apprentic...more
Professor Russell Muirhead argues that to do anything in politics you need a party but just because a party currently rules does not mean it will be successful and continue to rule. He posits that parties need to remember and nurture achievements that they were responsible for creating in the past, so the party can protect and extend those achievements into the future and thus continue to rule. The ultimate goal in elections is to create a constitutional majority and keep that majority for more ...more
Matthew Continetti and Andrew Ferguson discuss Donald Trump’s nomination and what it means for conservatives in America. They argue that they are encouraged by whom Trump is nominating to different cabinet positions and the Supreme Court but that Trump’s unpredictability and lack of core values are a concern. They discuss the role the media will play with the Trump administration and their relationship with the president-elect.
Kellyanne Conway discusses her life working on a New Jersey blueberry farm as an adolescent in the summers and being brought up by her mother, grandmother, and two unmarried aunts. She reflects on how she became conservative through the values her family placed in her and the inspiring reelection campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1984. Brought in by Donald Trump in August, Conway talks about how she told Trump that he was losing but there was a pathway to victory, which she helped the campaign reali...more
Recorded on October 27, 2016 J.D. Vance chronicles his life and the history and issues of hillbillies in America. Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, writes about growing up in a poor Rust Belt town and how his family never fully escapes the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma in their lives. Vance paints a broad, passionate, and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans.
Recorded on September 21, 2016 Although Americans have great respect for the military, most civilians have lost touch with it. This means that US citizens are not attuned to what the military needs because so few American volunteer to serve; this lack of understanding reduces not only battlefield effectiveness but the military's role in American life. Schake talks about the effect of high levels of public support for the military combined with low levels of trust in elected political leaders. ...more
Former prime minister of Denmark, Anders Rasmussen, on America's indispensable role as the global leader.
Fred Barnes and Stephen Hayes discuss the media's role in the 2016 presidential election and how the media’s role have changed and become much more biased in this election. They discuss what history will say about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and how history has treated past US presidents. In addition, Barnes and Hayes discuss Obama’s legacy including Obamacare, the Iran nuclear deal, Guantanamo, and the lack of economic growth. Part of Obama’s legacy includes the rise of Trump and Clinton. ...more
Recorded on September 22, 2016 Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson discusses Russia, China, and the danger of American withdrawal from the world stage. In addition, Hanson talks about immigration and assimilation in the United States throughout time. Hanson notes that, when immigrants assimilate and embrace the United States, then immigration works and strengthens us, but that when immigrants seek to separate themselves and reject US values and culture, then immigration becomes detrim...more
The American economy’s biggest problem is growth. To achieve growth, Hoover Institution fellow John Cochrane argues, America needs to simplify the tax code and deregulate the economy. He discusses how government agencies must conduct serious, transparent, and retrospective cost-benefit analyses, get rid of special interests, and remove disincentives if they want businesses to flourish. Cochrane notes that the US economy needs more innovation, deep tax reform, and better regulations to unleash ...more
Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses inequality and how it is part of the human condition. Sowell notes that political and ideological struggles have led to a dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. What is important is not inequality but human capital; once human capital is unleashed it creates an enormou...more
Hoover Institution fellows Terry Moe and Peter Robinson have a lively discussion on whether the Constitution is outdated and thus incapable of dealing with societal and structural problems facing government today. For example, immigration has been broken for decades, yet Congress has been incapable of passing new laws to keep up with the reality of the needs in the twenty-first century. So we have an immigration policy that does not make sense and laws that are not being enforced. To solve this,...more
John Hennessy discusses his tenure as president of Stanford University and how he helped make it into an elite school: encouraging technological innovation on campus, working on ideas that push humankind forward and maintain academic excellence, and having one of the best athletic programs in the country. Hennessy notes that one key to Stanford’s success is building quality infrastructure around interdisciplinary themes in a cross-disciplinary space, making it possible to fire up smart people a...more
James Buckley discusses his life and upbringing as well as the genesis of Firing Line and the success of his brother Bill. James describes Bill as a fresh spirit who wanted to meet all types of people and listen to different viewpoints. Bill loved a good debate. James notes that his parents were literate and that education and speaking well were important. They trained their children to work hard, be genteel, and listen to the other side. James notes that we make progress in society, such as ...more
Each branch of the federal government has strayed from its original purpose and no candidate for president will be able to fix the underlying issues that plague it. Governor Abbott makes his case for proposing a Convention of States to make amendments to restore constitutional order.
General Jack Keane briefly describes the history and rise of ISIS and its aim in the Middle East. Keane then discusses the concrete steps America should take to defeat ISIS, including partnerships with Sunni tribes and a more comprehensive air war.
In Part II of our interview with Charles Koch, he covers politics and the role of corporations in our society. Koch, making the case to end corporate welfare, tells us what he admires about Bernie Sanders and why he is less sanguine about President George W. Bush. He also believes technology can be used to promote free market ideals over democratic socialism, especially for the younger generation.
Charles Koch discusses his journey, from engaging in manual labor as a youth to attending MIT and working as a consultant. Having learned the principles of classical liberalism through his education and work, he now applies those principles to building and managing Koch Industries. He attributes much of his success to creating value for others and operating with integrity.
From members of Congress more concerned about reelection than debating the real problems to a president espousing post-constitutional ideas, Americans need a renewed understanding of the Constitution. Senator Sasse discusses the issues plaguing Congress and how the current president ignores the Constitution when it suits him. However serious the challenges that America is facing, Senator Sasse believes it is not too late to restore the Constitution and thus Congress.
Karl Rove discusses the amazing life and election of William McKinley. From his time as a soldier in the Civil War to his campaign in 1896, Karl Rove makes the case that McKinley was not only an effective campaigner for president but also someone who brought the nation together during a divisive time.
Recorded on January 25, 2016 Hoover Institution fellow Michael McFaul and John O'Sullivan discuss the many problems Europe is facing including an aggressive Russia, Brexit, NATO and the asylum crisis in Germany. McFaul and O'Sullivan give their analysis of these problems and what it means for the future of Europe.
Secretary Shultz talks about his time in the Reagan White House, from negotiations with Andrey Gromyko to the meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik. It’s a fascinating recount of the Reagan years through Shultz’s eyes, ending with what he believes are important characteristics for any future president and leader to have.
Recorded on July 9, 2015 The piano has been an important part of life for Condoleezza Rice and George Barth, her teacher. Although not as popular in today's culture, for them classical music is challenging but worth the effort to understand the piano's importance and beauty. As secretary of state, Rice would play the piano as a way of remembering where she came from and a way to refocus. In short, she said playing the piano made her a better secretary of state.
Recorded on October 7, 2015 - Niall Ferguson discusses the first half of Henry Kissinger's life, beginning with his being a young boy in Germany to becoming an intellectual celebrity at Harvard and finally an adviser to both Nelson Rockefeller and John Kennedy, leading Kissinger to becoming a national security adviser to Richard Nixon in 1968.
Recorded on July 29, 2015 - As part 2 begins, Lenin is dead and Stalin is trying to consolidate power. Although various people were vying for the position, Stalin had already effectively taken over Lenin’s job. Lenin’s last will and testament says bad things about all his successors, with Trotsky coming out the best, yet does nothing to dislodge Stalin from power. Stalin continues, through hard work and cunning, to gather power but also because people believed that he stood for the principles o...more
Recorded on July 29, 2015 - Part 1: Stalin was born in a small town in Georgia in which he was educated to become a priest. After succeeding in school and becoming a devout follower of the faith, Stalin left the priesthood and became a communist revolutionary. World War I and the revolutions of 1917 set the stage for Stalin and the Communists to take power in Russia.
Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses poverty around the world and in the United States. Poverty in America, he says, compared to the rest of the world, is not severe. Many poor people in poverty in the United States have one or two cars, central heating, and cell phones. The real problem for the poor is the destruction of the family, which Sowell argues dramatically increased once welfare policies were introduced in the 1960s.
John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general for President George Bush and now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Hugh Hewitt, former Reagan administration official and now a talk radio host, discuss the Constitution and current events in America. Topics range from Obamacare to the Middle East, the future of the United States, and how the Constitution applies to today’s problems.
Recorded on July 16, 2015 - Hoover fellows Charles Hill and James Mattis discuss the Iran deal and the state of the world on Uncommon Knowledge with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson. In their view the United States has handed over its leading role to Iran and provided a dowry along with it. Iran will become the leading power in the region as the United States pulls back; as the sanctions are lifted Iran will start making a lot of money. No matter what Congress does at this point, the sanctions are ...more
Senator John Hoeven discusses the Keystone pipeline, energy policy, the Middle East, and politics, noting that our country moves forward with investments that make our energy secure and environmentally sound. Horizontal drilling and fracking, for example, reduce the environmental impact of producing oil and gas, thus lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We can be energy secure by producing more energy; to do that we need the right mix of pipelines, rails, roads, and technology to move energy aro...more
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, to examine the many issues facing the nation today. Cotton graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001 and then served with the US Army in Iraq. In 2013 Cotton was elected to the House of Representatives; he was sworn in as a member of the US Senate in January 2015. (Playing time: 39:12)
In this episode, the host of Uncommon Knowledge speaks with Jim Hake, founder of Spirit of America, a nonprofit organization created to save lives and support the missions of US soldiers abroad. Hake’s goal was to go beyond what the government could do, with the motive of seeing America succeed. Begun in 2003, the idea gained enormous support, including from General Jim Mattis, commander of some of the first missions in Iraq. Today, Spirit of America is working around the world, sending our tro...more
In this episode, Uncommon Knowledge is honored to have retired four-star General James Mattis. General Mattis retired from the Marine Corps as a full general in 2013, where he served as the eleventh commander of the United States Central Command. He also served as the commander for NATO supreme allied transformation, and as commander of the United States Joint Forces Command. Mattis is now an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow fellow at the Hoover Institution. (Playing time: 40:56)
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge Dartmouth professors of government Jennifer Lind and William Wohlforth join Peter for an in-depth conversation about foreign policy and national security strategies in an ever-changing environment. Jennifer Lind is an associate professor of government; her most recent book is Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics. William Wohlforth is the Daniel Webster Professor of Government; his most recent book is World Out of Balance: International Relations...more
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with one of America’s favorite political satirists, P. J. O’Rourke, to discuss his best-selling books and the political philosophies that inspired them. O’Rourke describes how he came to hold his political ideals on liberty and individual responsibility and goes on to analyze how his generation, the baby boomers, has shaped today’s policies. O’Rourke is the author of more than sixteen books, including Parliament of Whores, listed on the New ...more
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Richard A. Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses inequality, taxes, globalization, free markets, politics, health care, and gay marriage. Epstein states that the central theme of his book The Classical Liberal Constitution is to develop sufficiently stable government structures and individual rights to raise everybody simultaneously when the government has to regulate or tax. The prevailing politics is ÒI ...more
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson interviews Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell, on his 5th edition of Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. In this interview, Sowell brings the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Sowell draws on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history. (Playing time: 49:50)
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with David Kelley, author of Creative Confidence, professor of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and founder of IDEO, one of the world’s most prestigious design firms. Kelley offers a profound perspective on everyone’s innate ability to be creative and the need to encourage the use of creativity in every aspect of today’s society. “The United States is particularly well suited for being innovative,” says Kelley; “when we grew up...more
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, guest Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investors and thinkers, discusses his new book Zero to One. In it Thiel explains his theories on markets, monopolies, and the lack new technology. Born in Germany, raised in California, Thiel is a US-ranked chess master and cofounder of PayPal and Palantir.
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with Liam Fox, member of Parliament and former secretary of state for defense, who also remains on every journalist’s short list of those most likely to one day become leader of the Conservative or Tory Party. Fox discusses many themes in his new book, Rising Tides, as well as current issues regarding the purpose of NATO, Scotland’s move for independence, and the conflicts in the Middle East.
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter interviews Hoover senior fellows and members of Hoover's Task Force on KÐ12 Education Paul Peterson and Rick Hanushek on education in the United States compared to the rest of the world. The authors of Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of American Schools, Peterson and Hanushek explain that the United States, in the latest international test, is now in thirty-second place, with only 32 percent of students scoring as proficient in math. Currently, ...more
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview, Peter sits down with House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) to discuss what the majority leader does and what it takes to be one. McCarthy also gives his opinion on the future of California, actions taken on the border, and what changes the next congressional election might bring. McCarthy began his own business at age nineteen, eventually went on to work in the California State Assembly, and was elected to Congress in 2006, and on June 19,...more
Steve Wynn, founder of Wynn Resorts, in the second part of his interview, discusses further his life as an entrepreneur, what he does to motivate his employees, and how he creates experiences that keep customers returning. Wynn also expresses his views on Obamacare, America’s fiscal policy, and the future of his business. “I take sides only on the issues that pertain to the health of my workforce,” explains Wynn. He has resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, China, and hopes to soon begin building another...more
Part I: Steve Wynn discusses his life, his dad’s death, being broke, and how he got into hotel and casino business. Wynn came to Las Vegas for a vacation, met Frank Sinatra, and fell in love with the city. Wynn’s banker said, Steve, this town needs young people. If you stay here you’ll end up owning the place. Wynn stayed and enjoys running a successful hotel and casino business.
In this special episode of Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson remembers Fouad Ajami, a Hoover senior fellow and renowned Middle East scholar, with excerpts from past interviews on Uncommon Knowledge covering US-Afghani relations, politics in Iran, and the need for reform in Islam. (Playing time: 7:27)
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview, Hoover fellow Peter Robinson speaks with Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Portman discusses the state of US politics and the Republican Party, touching on various important issues, beginning with the shortcoming of the Affordable Health Care act, the right to health care, and the possibility of alternatives. He continues on to discuss the importance of a balanced budget, despite the continuously increased spending initiated by President George Bush, and the need...more
Hoover fellow Peter Robinson speaks with former US ambassador to Russia, Hoover senior fellow, and Stanford political science professor Michael McFaul. McFaul discusses Russian president Vladimir Putin’s complex and evolving rhetoric and strategic objectives, emphasizing recent developments in the US-Russia relationship, Putin and former US Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, and Ukraine’s strategic importance to Russia.
Hoover fellow Peter Robinson speaks with political analyst, author, and journalist Yuval Levin. Levin is the founding editor of National Affairs, a quarterly journal of essays on the economy, society, culture, and political thought. He is also the author of Tyranny of Reason, Imagining the Future, and, most recently, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left. In this episode, Levin discusses The Great Debate and the philosophies of Edmund Burke and Thomas Pain...more
Rumor has it that newspapers will inevitably disappear, but according to Uncommon Knowledge’s interview with Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp, that doesn’t need to happen. Thomson discusses how newspapers have always created a community and how that can be done better now than ever before. Thomson became CEO in January 2013; before that he was editor in chief at Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. News Corp, often called the New News after it r...more
Utah Republican senator Mike Lee joins Peter to discuss the positive reforms he has put forth since being elected in 2010. The senator's legislation caused the New York Times to refer to him as the "one-stop shop for provocative reform ideas." Senator Lee explains his policies to restructure the tax code, change transportation funding, and how to move immigration forward. Senator Lee, before becoming a senator, clerked for Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito, served as an assistant US attorney i...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, David Berlinski, a mathematician, philosopher, and biologist, discusses the current state of the scientific community, the theories of Darwinism, and the science behind global warming. Peter Robinson gets a sneak peek at his new book, The Best of Times, on the history and perplexities of the twentieth century. Berlinski is also author of The Devil’s Delusion, The Deniable Darwin, and The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements.
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, military historian Max Boot discusses current events in Syria, Iran, and his recent book Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to Present. Boot explains how guerrilla warfare has been, and still is, the most common form of conflict even today, as seen in Syria and Afghanistan. Since conventional tactics do not work for unconventional armies, Boot offers lessons to be learned and applied to today's battles. Boot further argues t...more
In this special episode of Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson remembers Christopher Hitchens, a British American author, journalist, and personal friend, through a series of excerpts from past interviews on Uncommon Knowledge. These excerpts cover discussions of Marxism, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Society, Iraq and the Middle East, the war on terrorism, and the history of the American Left. (Playing time: 11:19)
Author George Gilder discusses his conception of knowledge, power, and the economy, as described in his latest book, Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World. He argues that a low entropy, or predictable and stable, carrier is required for the emergence of knowledge – whether it be a fiber optic cable and communication, or a social system governed by the rule of law and economic innovation. Such a social system is not spontaneous, but rath...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, playwright David Mamet discusses his book The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture and his conversion to conservatism. Mamet explains how, by studying Jewish and Christian texts such as the Talmud and the Bible, he came to approach arguments from a new perspective that aligned itself with conservative politics. Throughout the interview, Mamet discusses his newly found conservative position on several issues, including social justice and civil ...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles discusses Catholicism, Mexico-US relations, and immigration, which, as a prominent issue in the United States, provokes a wide variety of opinions as to how it can best be addressed. Gomez argues, both in the course of the interview and in his book Immigration and the Next America, that those who come to the United States from Mexico are honest people looking for work. He points out that this pattern is consistent with the role of ...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Joel Klein, Amplify CEO and former chancellor of the New York City department of education, discusses technology, school choice, and the challenges facing the US educational system. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, with huge implications for the United States; the way to reduce the gap and create knowledgeable, skilled, problem solvers is through education. For the past two hundred years we have had the model of one teacher and thirty plus ...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson mediates a discussion between PayPal founder and Stanford Professor Peter Thiel and Velocity Capital Management founder and journalist Andy Kessler on the state of technology and innovation in the United States over the past four decades. Thiel argues that, outside of computers, there has been very little innovation in the past forty years, and the rate of technological change has significantly decreased when compared to the first half of the ...more
Amity Shlaes sheds light on the life of Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth president of the United States. The harsh conditions of Coolidge’s childhood shaped his political ideas and led to his deep understanding of life and helping people succeed, especially in business. Believing in small government and low taxes, he thought government needed to get out of the way so individuals and businesses could prosper. His supply-side economics were a resounding success, with an unemployment rate of 5 percen...more
Victor Davis Hanson discusses his book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq. Hanson notes that savior generals are eccentrics, iconoclasts, and visionaries who see things others do not. (Playing time: 42:46)
Tom Wolfe discusses the ideas and inspirations for Back to Blood, a story of decadence and the new America. In the book, Wolfe paints a story of a decaying culture enduring constant uncertainty. Heroes are spurned and abused, and values are dissolving; yet the message seems to be to stick with the good values. (Playing time: 47:32)
This week Uncommon Knowledge, brings us interview excerpts from two former secretaries of state and Hoover fellows Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, and former secretary of defense Robert McNamara. All three have influenced American foreign policy through the years and through different crises, and all three believe that the United States possesses a particular responsibility in the world. (Playing time: 25:47)
Senator Rand Paul discusses his political ideas, ideals, and philosophies, noting that "we're all born with an instinct towards individualism." He gives his insights into dealing with immigration, unemployment, foreign policy, national security, taxes, personal responsibility, and many other issues. (Playing time: 39:24)
Joseph Epstein and Andrew Ferguson discuss where liberal arts came from and what has happened to them. Liberal arts, they say, emerged from an ancient stream of thought, learning, and belief about what is important in life, yet liberal arts degrees are not held in high regard today. (Playing time: 30:57)
Thomas Sowell discusses is newest book, Intellectuals and Race, which argues that the impact of intellectuals' ideas and crusades on the larger society, both past and present, is the ultimate concern. (Playing time: 38:27)
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush offers his outlook on immigration into the United States and discusses the policies he believes would improve the issue. (Playing time: 47:16)
John O'Sullivan discusses the unique and memorable career of the late Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. (Playing time: 44:12)
World-renowned economist and Hoover senior fellow John B. Taylor discusses the US economy: how we got here and what policies we should adopt going forward. (Playing time: 34:33)
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker discusses a wide range of issues facing his state, the nation, and the future of the GOP. (Playing time: 32:53)
US senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) discusses his first two months in office and his vision for the Republican Party. (Playing time: 36:13)
Rupert Murdoch discusses a wide range of topics including the future of journalism and the "new" News Corporation. (Playing time: 39:07)
Senator James Buckley discusses the transformation of the federal government and the challenges we face after the 2012 election. (Playing time: 28:30)
Islam historian Bernard Lewis and Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz discuss the history and future of the Middle East. (Playing time: 56:54)
Legal scholar John Yoo and Hollywood writer Rob Long strongly disagree about the future of the Republican Party. (Playing time: 41:33)
Authors Midge Decter and Mona Charen discuss Romney’s gender gap, the impact of feminism on America, and what women really care about. (Playing time: 42:08)
AEI scholar and National Review Online founding editor Jonah Goldberg and National Review’s Editor At Large John O’Sullivan on the election and the GOP’s future. (Playing time: 45:10)
Hollywood Odd Couple Rob Long and Harry Shearer discuss their unusual friendship, politics, and show business. (Playing time: 54:50)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia visits Uncommon Knowledge for a wide ranging interview including the living constitution, Roe v. Wade, Congress’ relationship to the court, and to discuss his new book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. (Playing time: 48:47)
Hoover fellow Shelby Steele and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol discuss the economy, politics, and the presidential race. (Playing time: 51:39)
George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, the book that became a best seller during the first year of the Reagan years and a guide to the Reagan administration itself, is now--just in time perhaps for the Romney years--available in a new edition. (Playing time: 41:23)
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak discusses his modest upbringing in Chicago, joining Armed Forces Radio in Vietnam, and working in small markets before finally landing in Hollywood. (Playing time: 48:53)
The Chairman of Chief Oil and Gas Trevor Rees-Jones discusses fracking -- what it is and why it is crucial to the country’s future, the challenge of discovering and distributing cheap energy, and why our gas prices will (and should) go up in the future (Playing time: 1:02:53)
Hoover fellows Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami discuss the strength and, yes, the democratic tradition of Middle Eastern states. (Playing time: 1:08:41)
President George W. Bush discusses postpresidential life and his work at the Bush Institute. (Playing time: 1:03:21)
Texas governor Rick Perry discusses the Texas success story, the perils and pitfalls of running for president, and what the rest of the country can learn from Texas. (Playing time: 45:28)
Radio host, columnist, conductor, and best-selling author Dennis Prager discusses his new book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. (Playing time: 48:14)
Science and technology expert Jim Manzi argues that controlled experimentation should be conducted and credible data collected before the government enacts major social and economic policies and explains why this has yet to happen. (Playing time: 43:06)
Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy discuss their new book The Presidents' Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity. (Playing time: 57:04)
Author and television host John Stossel discusses his new book No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails - But Individuals Succeed. (Playing time: 45:18)
On the occasion of the publication of a new edition of his book Intellectuals and Society, Thomas Sowell returns to Uncommon Knowledge for a wide-ranging interview. (Playing time: 52:37)
Author and commentator Pat Buchanan discusses the disintegration of the United States as a superpower and a united nation. (Playing time: 1:00:41)
Longtime American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray discusses his controversial new book, Coming Apart, about what American was, is, and will become. He also reveals his personal score on his now famous “bubble quiz.” Take the quiz here http://www.scribd.com/doc/77349055/Coming-Apart-by-Charles-Murray-Quiz (Playing time: 47:35)
Rick Santorum on why he's still in the race, the rights of the unborn, the Santorum tax plan, how Santorum plans to expand his appeal, the core differences between himself and Mitt Romney, and a up-to-the-minute state of the primary race from the candidate himself. (Playing time: 18:22)
This week on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell discusses why the glacial pace of deliberations and decisions in the Senate is a feature, not a bug. "Once it was clear the president was going to try to turn us into a Western European country as rapidly as he could, about the only strategy you have left when your opposition has a forty-seat majority in the House. . . . We knew we couldn't stop the agenda. But we thought we had a chance of creating a na...more
This week, on Uncommon Knowledge, Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute fellow, author, and senior political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, explains where the Republicans are headed, how Obama operates, and what’s at stake in the 2012 election. (Playing time: 52:46)
Condoleezza Rice, senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University, discusses the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, her days as George Bush's national security adviser and secretary of state, and the current state of the world, including Israel, Iran, and China. “The real question is how internally the United States deals with our own difficulties so that we are strong enough and confident enough and optimistic enough to c...more
The 58th Speaker of the House and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes the case for his candidacy, explains why he's not a Washington insider, and describes his vision for his first term: gaining energy independence, ending the war on religion, balancing the budget, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare and why he is temperamentally suited for the highest office. (Playing time: 33:10)
This week on Uncommon Knowledge columnist, scholar, and social media maven Jonah Goldberg discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, the unconstrained vision of the left, the problem with Romney, the reality of diversity, why vanilla is every one’s second favorite flavor, and offers some wise but unpalatable advice to conservative voters. “I do not think they hate Romney that much... Vanilla is everyone’s second favorite flavor. And so they do not hate him, but they do not love him....more
Richard Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University Law School, and John Yoo, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley law school, examine the merits of various constitutional arguments for the Supreme Court’s striking down Obamacare. (Playing time: 1:00:39)
This week on Uncommon Knowledge historian Andrew Roberts discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, his book The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. In the book, Roberts investigates what led up to the war, the historical factors responsible for Hitler's rise to power, Hitler's shortcomings as a military leader, Nazi Germany's defeat, and Allied contributions to the victory. (Playing time: 38:15)
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview from November 24, 2008, Thiel argues that a book published in France in 1968, Le Defi Americain (The American Challenge), has a lot to say to us in 2008, including why the United States has failed to rise to the heights predicted by its author, J. J. Servan-Schreiber. In explaining what’s wrong with the US economy, Thiel points out that, although we have benefited from growth that is both extensive (e.g., free trade) and intensive (e.g., technology), we have...more
This week on Uncommon Knowledge columnist James Delingpole discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, the European Union, the Green movement, and socialized medicine. (Playing time: 47:41)
Gerard Baker is deputy editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. From 2002 to 2004 he was the Chief U.S. Commentator and an Associate Editor for the Financial Times. A speechwriter for Pres. George H. W. Bush, Andrew Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard. His most recent book is Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course at Getting His Kids into College. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Paul Rahe holds the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in Western Heritage at Hillsdale College. He is the author most recently of Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell, UCLA, and Amherst. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books. His most recent book is The Thomas Sowell Reader. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Larry Arnn earned his graduate and doctorate in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Arnn is the founder and former president of the Claremont Institute. He is the current president at Hillsdale College. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Paul Ryan, a native of Janesville, Wisconsin, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and representative of the 1st congressional district of Wisconsin since 1999. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Dr. David Berlinski is the author of 1,2,3: Absolutely Elementary Mathematics and The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Summary not specified (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Charles Moore is a former editor at The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and Spectator Magazine. He is the authorized biographer of Margaret Thatcher. (Playing time: Duration not specified)