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Hoover senior fellows Michael Boskin and Edward Lazear discuss the dangers of th

Economic Headwinds with Lazear and Boskin

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Michael J. Boskin, Edward Paul Lazearvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boskin and Lazear take on the economy, discussing the explosion of deficit spending and the unprecedented increase in the money supply. Following the worst recession since WWII, why does the economic recovery seem so weak? Where, in particular, are the jobs? As a matter of pure economics, what do we need to do? As a matter of practical politics, how can we do it? (36:35) Video transcript

Mark Steyn and Rob Long on Uncommon Knowledge

Mark Steyn and Rob Long—The Gipper Then and Now

with Mark Steyn, Rob Longvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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].”

John O'Sullivan

The Cold War

by Peter M. Robinsonwith John O'Sullivanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, June 11, 2010

John O’Sullivan explores three competing explanations for the causes of the cold war and the three fundamental explanations for its end. Along the way, he offers in the Soviet Union a cogent analysis of the roles played by Mikhail Gorbachev and by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II in the West. Video transcript


Sebastian Junger

War with Sebastian Junger

with Sebastian Jungervia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From this close-in vantage point, Junger discusses the universal themes at play in the experience of all soldiers, ancient and modern, who experience combat: fear, killing, and love, that “intoxicating” bond formed by the men who wage battle together.

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John Podhoretz — The Purposes of Political Combat

with John Podhoretzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The editor of Commentary magazine and the film critic for The Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz served as a speechwriter in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He is the author of Hell of a Ride: Backstage at the White House Follies.

Fouad Ajami’s interview on Uncommon Knowledge

The United States and the Middle East with Fouad Ajami

with Fouad Ajamivia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fouad Ajami deconstructs past and current U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the Greater Middle East and lays out the ideological and strategic challenges the United States faces in the Islamic world.

Mark Steyn

“The End of the World as We Know It,” with Mark Steyn

with Mark Steynvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, April 30, 2010

Responding to critics who have called his America Alone “alarmist,” Steyn defends the tone and central premise of his book. “This book is about…the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and that call into question the future of much of the rest of the world, including the United States, Canada, and beyond.”

Christopher Hitchens and William F. Buckley Jr. argue over how 1968 changed our nation’s politics and culture.

Uncommon Knowledge classic: “The Sixties” with Hitchens and William F. Buckley

with Christopher Hitchens, William F. Buckley Jr.via Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In this rereleased interview from 1998, Christopher Hitchens, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair magazine, is a self-proclaimed radical. William F. Buckley, Jr., editor-at-large of National Review magazine, is one of the most noted conservatives in the country. During the 1960’s, Hitchens enjoyed the counter-culture, whereas Buckley was one of the founders of the politically conservative counter counter-culture. Thirty years later (1998), and Hitchens and Buckley are still wrangling over the Revolution. (24:52)

Victor Davis Hanson and John Arquilla

New rules of war with Hanson and Arquilla

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Victor Davis Hanson, John Arquillavia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is the United States military behind the curve? John Arquilla believes so. “[Our] big ships, big guns, and big battalions…are sure to be the wrong approach to waging the wars of the future.” ” He offers a way to get ahead of the curve: “[I]f we build a more networked force, it will already be able to fight at the regular level, and I believe that it will be able to scale up very nicely to fight the bigger wars.”

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson -- War and History, Ancient and Modern

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Victor Davis Hansonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beginning with the assertion that “war is inseparable from the human condition,” Victor Hanson proceeds to explain the ways in which the American way of war is distinctive. For one, “Americans are united…by shared ideas and commitments, such as the ideals of equal opportunity and individual merit….Our military functions…as a reflection of our national meritocracy.”


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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