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Michael McFaul on Uncommon Knowledge

Michael McFaul on Vladimir Putin and Russia

with Michael McFaulvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, May 19, 2014

In this Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow Peter Robinson speaks with former US ambassador to Russia, Hoover senior fellow, and Stanford political science professor Michael McFaul. McFaul discusses Russian president Vladimir Putin’s complex and evolving rhetoric and strategic objectives, emphasizing recent developments in the US-Russia relationship, Putin and former US Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, and Ukraine’s strategic importance to Russia.

Yuval Levin on Uncommon Knowledge

Yuval Levin on The Great Debate

with Yuval Levinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, April 25, 2014

In this Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow Peter Robinson speaks with political analyst, author, and journalist Yuval Levin. Levin is the founding editor of National Affairs, a quarterly journal of essays on the economy, society, culture, and political thought. He is also the author of Tyranny of Reason, Imagining the Future, and, most recently, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left. In this episode, Levin discusses The Great Debate and the philosophies of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine that continue to guide public policy today.

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Robert Thomson on the Media

with Robert Thomsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 28, 2014

Rumor has it that newspapers will inevitably disappear, but according to the Uncommon Knowledge interview with Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp, that does not need to happen. Thomson discusses how newspapers have always created a community and how that can be done better now than ever before. Thomson became CEO in January 2013; before that he was editor in chief at Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. News Corp, often called the New News after it recently separated from Twenty-First-Century Fox, is a network of leading companies in diversified media, news, education, and information services.

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Mike Lee on Politics and Conservatism

with Mike Leevia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 14, 2014

Utah Republican senator Mike Lee joins Peter to discuss the positive reforms he has put forth since being elected in 2010. The senator’s legislation caused the New York Times to refer to him as the “one-stop shop for provocative reform ideas.” Senator Lee explains his policies to restructure the tax code, change transportation funding, and how to move immigration forward. Senator Lee, before becoming a senator, clerked for Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito, served as an assistant US attorney in Salt Lake City, and practiced law with large firms in both Salt Lake City and Washington, DC.

David Berlinksi on Uncommon Knowledge

David Berlinski on Science, Philosophy, and Society

with David Berlinskivia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

David Berlinski, a mathematician, philosopher, and biologist, discusses the current state of the scientific community, the theories of Darwinism, and the science behind global warming on Uncommon Knowledge. Peter Robinson gets a sneak peek at his new book, The Best of Times, on the history and perplexities of the twentieth century. Berlinski is also author of The Devil’s Delusion, The Deniable Darwin, and The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements.

Hoover fellow Robinson, left, and Max Boot, right

Max Boot on guerilla warfare

with Max Bootvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Military historian Max Boot discusses current events in Syria, Iran, and his recent book Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to Present on Uncommon Knowledge. Boot explains how guerrilla warfare has been, and still is, the most common form of conflict even today, as seen in Syria and Afghanistan. Since conventional tactics do not work for unconventional armies, Boot offers lessons to be learned and applied to today’s battles. Boot further argues that now it is more important than ever to understand the history and operation of insurgent forces.

Peter Robinson remembers Christopher Hitchens

Peter Robinson remembers Christopher Hitchens

with Christopher Hitchensvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, December 26, 2013

In this special episode of Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson remembers Christopher Hitchens, a British American author, journalist, and personal friend, through a series of excerpts from past interviews on Uncommon Knowledge. These excerpts cover discussions of Marxism, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Society, Iraq and the Middle East, the war on terrorism, and the history of the American Left.

Hoover fellow Robinson, left, and George Gilder, right

George Gilder on knowledge, power, and the economy

with George Gildervia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, December 6, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, author George Gilder discusses his conception of knowledge, power, and the economy, as described in his latest book, Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World. He argues that a low entropy, or predictable and stable, carrier is required for the emergence of knowledge – whether it be a fiber optic cable and communication, or a social system governed by the rule of law and economic innovation. Such a social system is not spontaneous, but rather developed through sacrifice and a religious order. (41:32)

Hoover fellow Robinson, left, and David Mamet, right

David Mamet on conservatism

with David Mametvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, playwright David Mamet discusses his book The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture and his conversion to conservatism. Mamet explains how, by studying Jewish and Christian texts such as the Talmud and the Bible, he came to approach arguments from a new perspective that aligned itself with conservative politics. Throughout the interview, Mamet discusses his newly found conservative position on several issues, including social justice and civil rights, the decline of the family and the sexual revolution, affirmative action and race, and domestic politics and foreign policy. (35:34)

Hoover fellow Robinson, left, and Archbishop Gomez, right

Archbishop Gomez on immigration

with Archbishop Jose Gomezvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, November 11, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles discusses Catholicism, Mexico-US relations, and immigration, which, as a prominent issue in the United States, provokes a wide variety of opinions as to how it can best be addressed. Gomez argues, both in the course of the interview and in his book Immigration and the Next America, that those who come to the United States from Mexico are honest people looking for work. He points out that this pattern is consistent with the role of immigration in the historical relationship between the United States and Mexico and that, historically, immigrants do not supplant the existing culture but integrate within a generation. (29:17)

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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