Past episodes
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.

Uncommon Knowledge with guest Tom Wolfe

July 23, 2013 | Recorded on June 20, 2013

Author Tom Wolfe discusses his latest novel, Back to Blood

Tom Wolfe is the author of numerous bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction.

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, author 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. (47:32)

May 5, 2008 | Recorded on April 3, 2008

The Word According to Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe is the author of numerous bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction.

Peter Robinson engages America’s master novelist in a conversation that ranges from the death of the American novel to the “charming aristocracy” that seeks to dictate literary standards to the intersection of culture and the latest findings in neuroscience. Along the way, Tom Wolfe reaffirms his place as the preeminent chronicler of the changing American scene. (35:51) Video transcript

May 26, 1999 | Recorded on May 26, 1999

A BUG'S LIFE: A Conversation with Tom Wolfe

Noted Author Tom Wolfe discusses the latest findings in the field of neuroscience, which Wolfe believes"... is on the threshold of a unified theory that will have an impact as powerful as that of Darwinism a hundred years ago." Over the past several decades, neuroscientists have been putting together a model of the human brain that suggests that a great deal of our behavior and motivations are hardwired in our brains. In exploring the question of what human nature is, Tom Wolfe makes the connection between this cutting edge and religion, philosophy, and psychology.