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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)

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. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)

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. 

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Through A Pinhole

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Ricochet
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

At a business dinner in San Francisco last week, the host surprised me by asking me to say a few words about the administration. Unprepared, I stood, spoke–and found myself supporting the administration. The host was so surprised in turn–remember, this was in San Francisco–that he asked me to jot down my notes.

Analysis and Commentary

What Should A Left-ish But Open-Minded Teacher Read?

by Peter M. Robinson mentioning Thomas Sowellvia Ricochet
Sunday, September 10, 2017

A friend asks a very good question: I have a very close relative (elementary teacher) who is on the left end of the political spectrum, who has a book club largely inhabited by dedicated and talented teachers of similar persuasion, who would like her group to branch out a little and read some books from more conservative authors and academics.

Pat Sajak and Peter Robinson
Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

The Speech That Defined A Presidency

interview with Peter M. Robinson, Pat Sajakvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pat Sajak Interviews Peter Robinson about the Brandenburg Gate Speech.

Uncommon Knowledge 130x130
Blank Section (Placeholder)

The Speech That Defined a Presidency

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Pat Sajak Interviews Peter Robinson about the Brandenburg Gate Speech.
Blank Section (Placeholder)

Rhapsody in Blue and Red

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Russell Muirheadvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

“We don’t need less partisanship. We need better partisanship.” Russell Muirhead shows how political parties get things done. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)

“Growth Is the Problem”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with John H. Cochranevia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Lower tax rates, broaden the base. Such simple changes are all that we need, says Hoover fellow John H. Cochrane.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Area 45: The Art Of Presidential Wordsmithery Featuring Peter Robinson

interview with Peter M. Robinson, Bill Whalenvia Area 45
Monday, June 5, 2017

Presidential communication in this age of shock tweets and nonstop news cycles.