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Hoover fellow Peter Robinson (left) and Joel Klein, Amplify CEO and former chanc

Joel Klein on using technology to transform education

with Joel Kleinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Saturday, October 12, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Joel Klein, Amplify CEO and former chancellor of the New York City department of education, discusses technology, school choice, and the challenges facing the US educational system. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, with huge implications for the United States; the way to reduce the gap and create knowledgeable, skilled, problem solvers is through education. For the past two hundred years we have had the model of one teacher and thirty plus children, but that model is not working for many students. With less than one-third of students ready for college, Amplify is reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn to build a better K–12 educational system and thus a better society. (37:03)

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Peter Thiel and Andy Kessler on the state of technology and innovation

with Peter A. Thiel, Andy Kesslervia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, September 19, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson mediates a discussion between PayPal founder and Stanford Professor Peter Thiel and Velocity Capital Management founder and journalist Andy Kessler on the state of technology and innovation in the United States over the past four decades. Thiel argues that, outside of computers, there has been very little innovation in the past forty years, and the rate of technological change has significantly decreased when compared to the first half of the 20th century. In contrast, Kessler asserts that innovation comes in waves, and we are on the verge of another burst of technological breakthroughs. Industries covered include education, medicine and biotechnology, as well as robots and high tech.

Hoover fellow Peter Robinson (left) and author Amity Shlaes discuss her book Coo

Amity Shlaes on Coolidge’s life, ideas, and success in bringing about low taxes and small government

with Amity Shlaesvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, August 23, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Amity Shlaes sheds light on the life of Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth president of the United States. The harsh conditions of Coolidge’s childhood shaped his political ideas and led to his deep understanding of life and helping people succeed, especially in business. Believing in small government and low taxes, he thought government needed to get out of the way so individuals and businesses could prosper. His supply-side economics were a resounding success, with an unemployment rate of 5 percent or even 3 percent, as the economy grew and the government shrank.

Victor Davis Hanson

Hoover fellow Victor Davis Hanson on the type of men who become savior generals

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover fellow and author Victor Davis Hanson discusses his book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq. Hanson notes that savior generals are eccentrics, iconoclasts, and visionaries who see things others do not. A great general peels the veneer of invulnerability from a winning enemy, convincing his own men that victory is entirely within their purview. (42:46)

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.”

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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