Uncommon Knowledge

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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)

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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