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About Uncommon Knowledge

For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

January 23, 2013 | Recorded on November 12, 2012

Bernard Lewis and Norman Podhoretz discuss the Middle East

Islam historian Bernard Lewis (right) and Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz dis

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Islam historian Bernard Lewis and Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz discuss the history and future of the Middle East. (56:54)
“Deterrents worked with the Soviets and the Chinese because the Soviets were not suicidal and because they knew that, if they launched the first strike, there would be a second strike that would annihilate them. Mutually assured destruction. And mutually assured destruction can’t work in relation to Iran because these are people who you might say are in love with useful death.”