Peter M. Robinson

Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow

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

Analysis and Commentary

The Existential Threat To Our Democracy

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Ricochet
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

From a friend who happens to be a particularly shrewd observer: I find it telling that is the past couple of weeks two of the so-called “moderate” Democrats (Bloomberg and Buttigieg) have referred to Donald Trump as an “existential threat” to democracy. Well, consider that. Trump has been in office for 3 years. The country held perfectly free and open elections a year ago, which Trump opponents largely won.

The 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The 30th Anniversary Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

featuring Peter M. Robinson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Kotkin, David Holloway, Timothy Garton Ash, Norman M. Naimark, Niall Ferguson, Robert Service, Victor Davis Hanson, Michael McFaul, Amir Weinervia Hoover Daily Report
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson as well as many scholars and historians review the history of the Berlin Wall.


Peter Robinson: 1989: Lessons From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia The Europe Desk
Monday, November 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the lessons from that fateful year.

Analysis and Commentary

The Unbelievable Night The Berlin Wall Fell

by Peter M. Robinsonvia New York Post
Friday, November 8, 2019

Two scenes from the end of the Cold War: Scene one: On June 12, 1987, President Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate rising behind him, to challenge to the leader of the Soviet Union. “General Secretary Gorbachev,” the president said, “if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In the News

'Tear Down This Wall' Speechwriter Recounts What Almost Wasn't

featuring Peter M. Robinsonvia Fulton Sun
Thursday, November 7, 2019

The man behind former President Ronald Reagan's famous "tear down this wall" line faced many barriers trying to bring the speech to life.


Reagan’s ‘Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall’ Was Almost Left Unsaid, Recalls Former Speechwriter, Now Hoover Fellow

featuring Peter M. Robinsonvia Stanford News
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Reagan’s former speechwriter and current Hoover Institution fellow Peter M. Robinson shares what inspired those now famous words – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” – and how they were almost cut from the speech.


Peter Robinson: Common Knowledge With Michael Knowles

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia The Daily Wire
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson on Common Knowledge, what Robinson already knows.


Reagan Speechwriter Peter Robinson Shares The Backstory Of Iconic 'Tear Down This Wall' Speech

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia KSMU Radio
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses how the "Tear Down This Wall" speech came about.


Reagan Speechwriter Peter Robinson Recalls ‘Tear Down This Wall’ And Assesses GOP, Josh Hawley

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia St. Louis on the Air
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses crafting what would become one of the world’s most famous presidential speeches.


Sunday Special With Ben Shapiro: Peter Robinson

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special
Sunday, November 3, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses his life and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.