Peter M. Robinson

Murdoch Research Fellow
Biography: 

Peter M. Robinson is the Murdoch Research 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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The Gracious Toughness Of My Old Boss, George H.W. Bush

by Peter M. Robinsonvia New York Post
Monday, December 3, 2018

Graciousness and toughness. Contradictory attributes though these may seem, in George Herbert Walker Bush they existed in equal, remarkably abundant measure. Start with the toughness. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the future president could have stayed in school. Instead, he enlisted in the US Navy at age 18 and became a pilot a year later. 

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“We’re Accountable to You”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with General Jim Mattisvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former Hoover fellow, on running the Pentagon: “You go in, roll up your sleeves, and go to work.”

Uncommon Knowledge new logo 1400 x 1400
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Uncommon Knowledge in Copenhagen: Revitalizing Democracies Around the World

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 26, 2018

AUDIO ONLY

Building an Alliance of Democracies.

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"What Do You Do with Freedom?"

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Shelby Steelevia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Black Americans would do better to stand than to kneel. An interview with Hoover fellow Shelby Steele.

Tom Wolfe is the author of numerous bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction.
Analysis and Commentary

Tom Wolfe, RIP

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Ricochet
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Peacock Inn in Princeton during the summer of 1979, when, having just graduated from college, I was interviewing for a job in New Jersey: Radical Chic & Mau Mau-ing the Flak Catchers. My room at No. 2 Brewer Street in Oxford in 1980, when, now a graduate student in England, I was feeling intensely homesick for my own country: The Right Stuff.

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“We Are Indebted to Them Every Day”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Victor Davis Hansonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

Hoover fellow Victor Davis Hanson on his new book, The Second World Wars.

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Networks and Netizens

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

Not too many years ago, we were still dreaming sweet dreams of a high-tech utopia. Now computer users have been awakened, rather rudely. Hoover fellow Niall Ferguson guides us through the new and often menacing reality.

Analysis and Commentary

Remembering The Formidable Matriarch, Barbara Bush

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Ricochet
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I first came to her attention after a 1982 event in Minneapolis at which George H.W. Bush, then vice president, delivered a speech I had written. Aboard Air Force II, Barbara Bush came back to speak to the staff. “Who wrote that speech?” she asked.

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Dilbert and the Donald

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams on managing luck, parsing Trump, and otherwise cutting pointy-headed experts down to size. 

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Putting Aside Adolescent Things

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 23, 2017

Senator Ben Sasse wants to raise wise children worthy of their birthright. 

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