Peter M. Robinson

Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow
Biography: 

Peter M. Robinson is the Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's video series program, Uncommon Knowledge™.

Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Regan Books, 2003); It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP, (Warner Books, 2000); and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA (Warner Books, 1994; still available in paperback).

In 1979, he graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. He went on to study politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University, from which he graduated in 1982.

Robinson spent six years in the White House, serving from 1982 to 1983 as chief speechwriter to Vice President George Bush and from 1983 to 1988 as special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. He wrote the historic Berlin Wall address in which President Reagan called on General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

After the White House, Robinson attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. (The journal he kept formed the basis for Snapshots from Hell.) He graduated with an MBA in 1990.

Robinson then spent a year in New York City with Fox Television, reporting to the owner of the company, Rupert Murdoch. He spent a second year in Washington, D.C., with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as the director of the Office of Public Affairs, Policy Evaluation, and Research. Robinson joined the Hoover Institution in 1993.

The author of numerous essays and interviews, Robinson has published in the New York Times, Red Herring, and Forbes ASAP, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review Online. He is the editor of Can Congress Be Fixed?: Five Essays on Congressional Reform (Hoover Institution Press, 1995).

In 2005, Robinson was elected to serve as a Trustee of Dartmouth College.

Robinson lives in northern California with his wife, their children and their dog, Crusoe.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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GoodFellows: No Forward Passes

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Peter M. Robinson, Bill Whalenvia Fellow Talks
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

AUDIO ONLY

As the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins, what’s the path forward for the Republican Party—distance itself from Trump and risk losing his fan base, or embrace Trump and further alienate suburbanites and college-educated voters? Peter Robinson, the Hoover Institution’s Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow and host of Uncommon Knowledge (and a former Reagan White House speechwriter), joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster and John Cochrane to discuss the GOP’s brand, their shared memories of the late George Shultz, and one fellow’s disdain for the Super Bowl and the American version of “football.”

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No Forward Passes

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalen, Peter M. Robinsonvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

As the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins, what’s the path forward for the Republican Party—distance itself from Trump and risk losing his fan base, or embrace Trump and further alienate suburbanites and college-educated voters? Peter Robinson, the Hoover Institution’s Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow and host of Uncommon Knowledge (and a former Reagan White House speechwriter), joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster and John Cochrane to discuss the GOP’s brand, their shared memories of the late George Shultz, and one fellow’s disdain for the Super Bowl and the American version of “football.”

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Law Talk And Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson: Live

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoo, Andrew McCarthy, Peter M. Robinsonvia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

This is a special announcement from John and Richard inviting our Law Talk with Epstein & Yoo listeners to join us on February 8th, 2021 at 1PM PT/4PM ET on Zoom for a discussion on the Constitutionality of impeaching a former president. They’ll be joined by National Review’s Andy McCarthy and Peter Robinson will be moderating. Click here for details on how to view the event.  See you there!

“Afghanistan Will Never Be Denmark”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with H. R. McMastervia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Discussing his new book, Battlegrounds, Hoover fellow H. R. McMaster surveys the strategic landscape.

“We Need Really Good Answers”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Condoleezza Ricevia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New director Condoleezza Rice has her eye on both continuity and challenge—and how Hoover can help answer some of our most urgent questions.

“Looking in the Wrong Direction”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 19, 2020

Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works, explains that all innovation involves an element of surprise—as do challenges, such as Covid-19, that we can only meet by innovating. “We should have been worrying about pandemics all along.”

Still Shining

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Ayaan Hirsi Alivia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 19, 2020

To Hoover fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali, America’s promise remains undimmed.

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Ruins of the Great Society

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Lyndon Johnson’s grand program was born under a fatal paradox, says historian Amity Shlaes: the beliefs that “we can do anything” but “only the government can do it.” That tangled ambition led not to greatness but to a great disappointment.

Illusions of Change

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Stephen Kotkinvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

China was supposed to have transformed itself into a modern, democratic state by now, but this was not to be. What went wrong—and what should the United States do now? A conversation with Hoover fellow Stephen Kotkin.

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Strange Defeat

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Douglas Murrayvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2020

Douglas Murray, author of The Strange Death of Europe, worries that Europe may have become too exhausted by heedless immigration and self-doubt to defend its own culture.

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