Uncommon Knowledge

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From left: Hoover fellow Peter Robinson, John O’Sullivan, and Jonah Goldberg dis

Jonah Goldberg and John O’Sullivan on Uncommon Knowledge

with Jonah Goldberg, John O'Sullivanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, AEI scholar and National Review Online founding editor Jonah Goldberg and National Review’s editor-at-large John O’Sullivan on the election and the GOP’s future. (45:10)

Rob Long and Harry Shearer on Uncommon Knowledge

Rob Long and Harry Shearer discuss politics and Hollywood on Uncommon Knowledge

with Rob Long, Harry Shearervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Hollywood odd couple Rob Long and Harry Shearer discuss their unusual friendship, politics, and show business. (54:50)
“On cable, it’s cheaper to have a guy from the left and a guy from the right yelling about the news than to go cover the news. On prime-time entertainment, it’s cheaper to have a couple of guys with cameras shoot some real people who know they’re supposed to act like fools than to pay for really overpriced writers and actors to perform scripted shows. This is the pervasive influence of the multichannel universe–cheap.”

Justice Antonin Scalia discusses the premise of his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.

Uncommon Knowledge with Justice Antonin Scalia

with Antonin Scaliavia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia visits for a wide-ranging interview on subjects including the living Constitution, Roe v. Wade, Congress’s relationship to the Court, and his new book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. “I think it took the American people a while to figure out what was going on, maybe 30 years. Once they have figured out that the Supreme Court is essentially rewriting the Constitution term by term, the old criteria for appointing and confirming judges no longer applies.” (48:47)

Hoover fellows Peter Robinson (left) and Shelby Steele

Uncommon Knowledge with Hoover fellow Shelby Steele and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol

with Shelby Steele, Bill Kristolvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow Shelby Steele and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol discuss the elections.
Mitt Romney: "I believe that if America does not lead, others will—others who do not share our interests and values—and the world will grow darker."

George Gilder

Uncommon Knowledge with George Gilder

with George Gildervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, the book that became a best seller during the first year of the Reagan years and a guide to the Reagan administration itself, is now—just in time perhaps for the Romney years—available in a new edition. Gilder describes how Reagan’s near trillion-dollar bulge in defense spending transformed the global balance of power in favor of capitalism.

Thomas Sowell discusses Intellectuals and Society on Uncommon Knowledge.

Thomas Sowell discusses his essay “‘Trickle Down Theory’ and ‘Tax Cuts for the Rich.’”

with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, September 17, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell discusses his essay “‘Trickle Down Theory’ and ‘Tax Cuts for the Rich.’” (39:52)
“Now anyone who studied history knows that for the first 150 years of this country the federal government did not intervene when the economy turned down. And all that time the downturns all corrected themselves; one of the most classic examples was under Warren G. Harding when, during his first year in office, he found the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent. He did absolutely nothing; he did not spend more government money, he cut back on spending. The Federal Reserve had the interest rates up at 6 or 7 percent, not down at 1 percent, where they are now. The next year unemployment was at 6.7 percent; the year after that it was 2.4 percent. So the economy has recuperative powers. I mean employers have an incentive to hire people. Workers have an incentive to get jobs. Lenders have incentives to lend.”

Pat Sajak on Uncommon Knowledge

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak discusses his upbringing, career, Hollywood, and politics

with Pat Sajakvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak discusses his modest upbringing in Chicago, joining Armed Forces Radio in Vietnam, working in small markets before finally landing in Hollywood, and politics.
“What is changing I think is, other than the money, which can help a campaign, people are tuning out celebrity endorsements. Everyone has an opinion, especially now in this Internet age where everyone is blogging. You do not have to be a celebrity to talk to the world.” (48:53)

Congressman Paul Ryan

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan presents some of his ideas for fixing government in his September 2011 interview on Uncommon Knowledge

with Paul Ryanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 27, 2012

In a wide-ranging 2011 interview, US member of Congress and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin discusses the need to repeal and replace President Obama’s health care law, his ideas for fixing Medicare and Medicaid, and new concepts to reduce the debt and fix the federal budget.

Trevor Rees-Jones

Uncommon Knowledge with Trevor Rees-Jones

with Trevor Rees-Jonesvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, the Chairman of Chief Oil and Gas Trevor Rees-Jones discusses fracking—what it is and why it is crucial to the country's future, the challenge of discovering and distributing cheap energy, and why our gas prices will (and should) go up in the future. (1:02:53)

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami on Uncommon Knowledge

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami

with Charles Hill, Fouad Ajamivia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge Hoover fellows Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami discuss the Middle East: its past, present, and future.
“If you take a look at the authoritarian world of today, the Arab world looks bereft of democratic tradition, but that wasn’t always the case.”


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