Peter M. Robinson

Research Fellow

Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's video series program, Uncommon Knowledge™.

Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Regan Books, 2003); It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP, (Warner Books, 2000); and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA (Warner Books, 1994; still available in paperback).

In 1979, he graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. He went on to study politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University, from which he graduated in 1982.

Robinson spent six years in the White House, serving from 1982 to 1983 as chief speechwriter to Vice President George Bush and from 1983 to 1988 as special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. He wrote the historic Berlin Wall address in which President Reagan called on General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

After the White House, Robinson attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. (The journal he kept formed the basis for Snapshots from Hell.) He graduated with an MBA in 1990.

Robinson then spent a year in New York City with Fox Television, reporting to the owner of the company, Rupert Murdoch. He spent a second year in Washington, D.C., with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as the director of the Office of Public Affairs, Policy Evaluation, and Research. Robinson joined the Hoover Institution in 1993.

The author of numerous essays and interviews, Robinson has published in the New York Times, Red Herring, and Forbes ASAP, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review Online. He is the editor of Can Congress Be Fixed?: Five Essays on Congressional Reform (Hoover Institution Press, 1995).

In 2005, Robinson was elected to serve as a Trustee of Dartmouth College.

Robinson lives in northern California with his wife, their children and their dog, Crusoe.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

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Rhapsody in Blue and Red

by Peter M. Robinsoninterview with Russell Muirheadvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

“We don’t need less partisanship. We need better partisanship.” Russell Muirhead shows how political parties get things done. 

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“Growth Is the Problem”

by Peter M. Robinsoninterview with John H. Cochrane via Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Lower tax rates, broaden the base. Such simple changes are all that we need, says Hoover fellow John H. Cochrane.

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Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

by Peter M. Robinsonfeaturing Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 24, 2017

There’s never been a level playing field, insists economist and Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell, and we should never have expected one. 

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the thirty-ninth prime minister of Denmark (2000–2009)

Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson: Anders Fogh Rasmussen And America’s Will To Lead

by Peter M. Robinson
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 39th prime minister of Denmark (2000–2009) and the twelfth secretary general of NATO (2009–14), joins Peter Robinson to discuss why America is the only proper policeman for the world. He argues that America’s failure to act, especially in cases like Syria, can lead to more harm than intervention.

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A Miracle or a Relic

by Peter M. Robinsoninterview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

Hoover fellow Terry Moe argues that the US Constitution is an anachronism that needs fundamental change. 

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Rust Belt Prophet

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

Family, sheer grit, and the Marine Corps rescued J. D. Vance, author of the searching memoir Hillbilly Elegy. He wonders what, if anything, will rescue his people. 

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John Hennessy: The Exit Interview

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 21, 2016

The outgoing Stanford president reflects on the founding, and the future, of a truly great university. 

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The McKinley Pivot

by Peter M. Robinsoninterview with Karl Rovevia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

His rival tried to drive Americans apart—but William McKinley brought them together. Seasoned campaigner Karl Rove sees echoes of the 1896 faceoff in today’s presidential contest.


Why Nancy Reagan Was The Indispensable Woman

by Peter M. Robinsonvia New York Post
Monday, March 7, 2016

Two tales of Nancy Reagan: The first took place during Ronald Reagan’s 1966 campaign for governor of California. Dana Rohrabacher, now a member of Congress but then just a college kid, slept one night in the backyard of Reagan’s house in Pacific Palisades. At 7 the next morning, the back door swung open and Nancy Reagan appeared.

“Find Your Fit”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Born creators, people are everywhere in creative chains: David Kelley, founder of the Stanford design school, wants to free your inner innovator.