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


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.


The Weekly With Peter Robinson

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia C-SPAN
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses President Reagan, the GOP, and the American Presidency.

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“None of the Wars Has Been Won”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with David Davenportvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hoover fellow David Davenport, co-author of How Public Policy Became War, calls for a rhetorical cease-fire.

In the News

With Upcoming Second Spanish Conference, Intelligent Design’s European Footprint Grows

mentioning Hoover Institution, Peter M. Robinsonvia Evolution News & Science Today
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

You may remember the story of how the first European Conference on Intelligent Design (TDI Europe) was chased out of two universities in Portugal only to find refuge in León, Spain. Paul Nelson, who was there and traveled with the refugees (what else to call them?), told about his experiences in an article at Evolution News. 


Peter Robinson And John Yoo: Justice Served

interview with Peter M. Robinson, John Yoovia Ricochet Podcast
Friday, August 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellows Peter Robinson and John Yoo discuss Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and the aftermath and lasting effects with Mollie Hemingway and Rob Long.

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“It’s Not the End of the World”

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Bjorn Lomborgvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

We can handle rising temperatures—if only everyone would calm down and think. Hoover visiting fellow Bjorn Lomborg on climate change and sweet reason.