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 by topic: Politics, U.S.

August 22, 2011 | Recorded on August 16, 2011

Tim Groseclose—Media Bias

Tim Groseclose

A distinguished political scientist, Tim Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California at Los Angeles. Professor Groseclose has also taught at Caltech, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State University and Harvard. His new book is Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

July 29, 2011 | Recorded on July 14, 2011

Fouad Ajami and Charles Hill—Trials of a Thousand Years

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami on Uncommon Knowledge

Of Persian descent, Fouad Ajami was raised in Lebanon and came to the United States at age eighteen. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the winner of this year’s Breindel Journalism Award.

During his career at the State Department, Ambassador Charles Hill served as an adviser to Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. Hill is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the diplomat-in-residence at Yale. He is the author, most recently, of Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism.

June 13, 2011 | Recorded on June 13, 2011

Andrew Breitbart — Media War

Andrew Breitbart

A publisher, columnist, and blogger, Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the Breitbart network of investigative news websites including,, Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and Big Peace. Breitbart’s new book is Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me while I Save the World!

May 19, 2011 | Recorded on April 19, 2011

Thomas Sowell—Economic Facts and Fallacies

Thomas Sowell discusses Intellectuals and Society on Uncommon Knowledge.

Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell University, UCLA, and Amherst College. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books, the latest of which is a revised and expanded second edition of Economic Facts and Fallacies.

March 14, 2011 | Recorded on February 27, 2011

Politics and Policy with Mitch Daniels

Governor Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels is the forty-ninth governor of Indiana. He served as political liaison to President Ronald Reagan and as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

January 31, 2011 | Recorded on January 5, 2011

Stanley Kurtz—Radical-In-Chief

aObama the radical with Stanley Kurtz

An author, journalist, and social anthropologist (PhD Harvard), Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a contributing editor to National Review Online. His latest book is Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.

January 18, 2011 | Recorded on January 18, 2011

Richard Epstein and John Yoo—Order in the Court

The law with Epstein and Yoo

Richard Epstein is a professor of law at the New York University law school, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago law school. His latest book is The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act. John Yoo is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley law school. His most recent book is Crisis and Command.

August 30, 2010 | Recorded on August 20, 2010

Politics with Haley Barbour

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour
In 2003 Haley Barbour was elected governor of Mississippi, becoming only the second Republican governor since Reconstruction. In 2007 he won reelection to a second and final term. Since June of last year, Governor Barbour has served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
August 2, 2010 | Recorded on August 2, 2010

Michael Barone

Michael Barone

Journalist, pundit, and scholar, Michael Barone is the senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, a frequent commentator on Fox News, and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

June 22, 2010 | Recorded on April 26, 2010

Mark Steyn and Rob Long—The Gipper Then and Now

Mark Steyn and Rob Long on Uncommon Knowledge

Reviewing clips of Ronald Reagan’s speeches, Long and Steyn reflect on Reagan’s relevance to issues confronting America today. Speaking of Reagan’s “The Last Stand on Earth” address, Steyn remarks on “how easily you can pick up the argument [made in 1964 about the threat of Soviet communism] and drop it right down into the current circumstances [the threat of Islamic extremism].”