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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Recent Commentary

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Secrets Of Statecraft: Peter Robinson On The Art Of Writing Ronald Reagan’s Speeches

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia Secrets of Statecraft with Andrew Roberts
Monday, May 16, 2022

If you have ever been asked to deliver a speech in public (or even if you haven’t), listen to a master of the genre Peter Robinson speak of the humor, honesty, and honing involved in writing over 150 speeches for a U.S. President. 

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More Method, Less Madness

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Andrew Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

King George III, the allegedly addled monarch who “lost America” and ended up a punch line in the musical Hamilton, deserves better. So says historian Andrew Roberts, whose new book undertakes his royal rehabilitation.

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“The Ball Is in Our Court”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Glenn Louryvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Hoover fellow Glenn Loury urges black Americans to embrace “the freest, most prosperous, most dynamic society on the planet,” adding this reminder: “We need our fellow Americans onside.”

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: The Problem Was Not The President

interview with Peter M. Robinson, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Monday, February 7, 2022

President Ronald Reagan’s relevancy in this day and age.

Must Read | Watch | Listen

5 Questions for Stephen Kotkin

interview with Peter M. Robinson, Stephen Kotkinvia China Global Sharp Power Weekly Alert
Friday, February 4, 2022

Peter Robinson interviews Stephen Kotkin, professor of history at Princeton and author of books on modern Russian history. Robinson poses five questions to Dr. Kotkin: what Xi Jinping, the president of China believes; what Vladimir Putin believes; whether nuclear weapons are a deterrent in the 21st century; the chances of another American renewal; and Kotkin’s rational basis for loving the United States. It’s a fascinating conversation that delves deep into one of the country’s brightest minds.

“Power and Principle”: A Coda

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Condoleezza Rice, General Jim Mattis, John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

Condoleezza Rice, Jim Mattis, John B. Taylor, and Karen Hughes reflect on 9/11 and twenty tumultuous years.

What Did Afghanistan Mean?

by Peter M. Robinson interview with H. R. McMaster, Victor Davis Hansonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

Hoover fellows H. R. McMaster and Victor Davis Hanson scrutinize the long and ultimately futile American campaign to remake Afghanistan.

The Losses of Lockdown

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Tyler Goodspeedvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

New Hoover fellow Tyler Goodspeed, a former White House economic adviser, on the Trump economy before COVID—and why it proved a boon for the American taxpayer, worker, and investor.

Fanfare for the “Uncommon” Man

featuring Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

Celebrating a quarter-century of Hoover’s long-running video series, Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson.

By Guy Denton

“This Is a Sputnik Moment”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Amy Zegartvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

Hoover fellow Amy B. Zegart has built her career analyzing the big threats. Today’s biggest, she says, is China.

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