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John Micklethwait

Inside The Economist Magazine

by Peter M. Robinsonwith John Micklethwaitvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, February 5, 2007

From his vantage point as the editor-in-chief of one of the most respected news magazines in the world, John Micklethwait discusses how this 150-year-old “newspaper” maintains its leadership position in the increasing precarious environment of print journalism. Along the way, he offers his job performance evaluation of Tony Blair and George Bush and is challenged to defend his previous assertion that “The conservative movement has become the dominant intellectual force in American politics.” (42:47) Video transcript

A Debate on School Reform: Curriculum and Instruction or Markets and Choice?

with Chester E. Finn Jr., E. Donald Hirsch Jr., Caroline M. Hoxby, Paul E. Peterson, Diane Ravitchvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Koret Task Force on K-–12 Education is a top-rate team of education experts brought together by the Hoover Institution, with the support of the Koret Foundation, to work on education reform. The primary objectives of the task force are to gather, evaluate, and disseminate existing evidence in an analytical context, and analyze reform measures that will enhance the quality and productivity of K-–12 education.

David M. Kennedy

Bring Back The Draft

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Edwin Meese III, David M. Kennedyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Under President Nixon, in 1973 the United States abolished the draft, moving to an all-volunteer armed forces. Now some—most notably New York congressman Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee—have called for a reinstatement of the draft. Is this a good idea? What lessons from history can we call on to help answer this question? And what impact would the reinstatement of the draft have on society as a whole and the military in particular? Peter Robinson speaks with David Kennedy and Edwin Meese. (33:11) Video transcript

Edwin Meese III

The Iraq Study Group

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Edwin Meese IIIvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As one of the prominent conservative members of the Iraq Study Group, Edwin Meese has drawn withering criticism from the right for the group's recommendations—the National Review calling their final report "dressed-up surrender in Iraq." Just what does the report say about the situation in Iraq, what to do about troop levels, and a "new diplomatic offensive in the Middle East"? Meese takes on the key points and their critics and offers a strong defense of the positions staked out by the Iraq Study Group.(34:33) Video transcript

Michael Spence

Economic Growth In India and China

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Michael Spencevia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, November 27, 2006

According to Michael Spence, “We are entering a period in which the two most populous countries in the world are the fastest-growing countries in the world—and the fastest-growing countries in the history of the world.” How have India and China done it, and what problems do they face as they seek to sustain this growth? What threats do these two economic powers pose to the United States, and what strategies should guide our relations with them? (37:01) Video transcript

John Yoo

The Constitution and the War

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Uncommon Knowledge
Sunday, October 29, 2006

Where should we draw the line between civil liberties and national security in the “war on terror”? Are we even at war, and if so, what are the constitutional limits to presidential war powers? Has the Bush administration gone too far in the electronic surveillance of citizens and the coercive interrogation of suspected terrorists and enemy combatants? Richard Epstein and John Yoo, both widely regarded as strict constitutional constructionists, take decidedly different positions on these questions. (41:26) Video transcript

HOLDING COURT: The Legacy of the Rehnquist Court

with Kathleen Sullivan, John Yoovia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, May 26, 2005

William H. Rehnquist has served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court for nineteen years, the longest tenure of a chief justice in a century. How has the Rehnquist Court responded to the key constitutional issues of our times? What will be the philosophical legacy of the man himself? And who will miss him more, liberals or conservatives? Peter Robinson speaks with Kathleen Sullivan and John Yoo.

THE BEST DEFENSE: Preventive War

with Victor Davis Hanson, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Stephen Stedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, May 26, 2005

In 2002, the Bush administration published a new National Security Strategy, which argued that, in the twenty-first century, it was necessary for the United States not merely to defend itself but to use military force to prevent threats such as terrorist attacks and weapons of mass destruction. Is preventive force just? Is it effective? And what can the biggest example of this doctrine in action, the war in Iraq, tell us about the future of preventive force? Peter Robinson speaks with Victor Davis Hanson, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Stephen Stedman.

LOVE AND MARRIAGE: Marriage in Modern America

with Jennifer Roback Morse, Stephanie Coontzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, April 18, 2005

Most people would agree that families and the institution of marriage are not what they were fifty years ago. Many couples are cohabiting without marriage, and many children are being raised in single-parent homes or other nontraditional family arrangements. Is the traditional model of marriage and family superior to these other arrangements, as some would argue? If so, why have marriage and family relationships changed so much over the past half-century? And what should the government do, if anything, to strengthen families and the institution of marriage? Peter Robinson speaks with Jennifer Roback Morse and Stephanie Coontz.

SPEAK NO EVIL: Freedom of Speech on Campus

with David Horowitz, Graham Larkinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, April 15, 2005

According to recent polls, instructors at American universities are overwhelmingly liberal: 72 percent of faculty members describe themselves as liberal, whereas only 15 percent call themselves conservative. Some critics charge that this ideological imbalance has created a code of political correctness that inhibits freedom of inquiry and expression in our universities. Is this true? And if so, what should be done, or can be done, about it? Peter Robinson speaks with David Horowitz and Graham Larkin.

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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