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

Author Tom Wolfe discusses his latest novel, Back to Blood

with Tom Wolfevia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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)

Condoleezza Rice (left), the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Publ

Crisis Management: Kissinger, McNamara, and Rice

with Stub, Robert S. McNamara, Condoleezza Ricevia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 4, 2013

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. (25:47)

Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul discusses individualism, freedom, and national security on Uncommon Knowledge

with Rand Paulvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, June 14, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, 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. Senator Paul’s unique perspective and solutions could be a starting point for getting the United States back on track. (39:23)

Clockwise from left: Hoover fellow Peter Robinson, Andrew Ferguson, and Joseph E

Joseph Epstein and Andrew Ferguson discuss the state of liberal arts education on Uncommon Knowledge

with Joseph Epstein, Andrew Fergusonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, May 31, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, authors 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. (30:57)

Thomas Sowell discusses Intellectuals and Society on Uncommon Knowledge.

Thomas Sowell discusses his newest book, Intellectuals and Race

with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, May 17, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell discusses his 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. (38:27)
“The intellectuals have told them [African Americans] that the world is unjust, that other people are keeping them down, that the fact that they don't have what other people have, is somebody else's fault.”

Jeb Bush

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush offers his outlook on immigration

with Jeb Bushvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, former Florida governor Jeb Bush offers his outlook on immigration into the United States and discusses the policies he believes would improve the issue. (47:16)
“I think we've [the Republican Party] become too reactionary. We have not been as positive, offering concrete proposals that are based on this principle that the future is incredibly bright. If we believed it, we would be advocating across-the-board principles and policies that would advance that notion.”

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan remembers Margaret Thatcher on Uncommon Knowledge

with John O'Sullivanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, April 18, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, journalist and author John O'Sullivan discusses the unique and memorable career of the late Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. (44:12)
“Mrs. Thatcher loved people who argued with her. She loved debate. She loved rhetorical combat. That was all important to her. People who argued with her went up in her estimation and she tended to like them.”

Crisis Management with John Taylor

John Taylor discusses the economy on Uncommon Knowledge

with John B. Taylorvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, 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.
“Quite frankly I think if we don't change the policy we will have this two percent growth, and it is very disappointing. It's hardly enough to have incomes rise over time. The notion of progress and the notion of people being able to move from the lower-income distributions to a higher will go away.” (34:33)

Scott Walker the Governor of Wisconsin

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker

with Scott Walkervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker discusses a wide range of issues facing his state, the nation, and the future of the GOP. (32:53)
“What we've tried to do is take a step back and instead of getting engrossed in the nuances and acronyms here in our nation's capital is instead try to focus on what does this mean to real people? What does this mean to our state? What does this mean to us long term? My goal is to move people from government dependence . . . and find a way to transition them into the private sector.”

Hoover fellow Peter Robinson interviews US senator Ted Cruz.

US senator Ted Cruz discusses his first two months in office and his vision for the Republican Party

with Ted Cruzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, March 14, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, US senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) discusses his first two months in office and his vision for the Republican Party. (36:13)
“I think the biggest divide is not even a divide between Republicans and Democrats; it's a divide between the people. And [between] the entrenched elites in Washington that are growing their own power. And I think there is an incredible desire to get back to commonsense conservative principles.”


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