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

In the News

George Gilder: Cloud Computing Is Reaching Its Limits

quoting Peter M. Robinson, Hoover Institutionvia Mind Matters News
Saturday, June 29, 2019

The “cloud” isn’t something ethereal “up there,” Gilder reminds us; it is giant factory floors of computers.


Peter Robinson: The Great Debate

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia The Ricochet Podcast
Friday, June 28, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses the Democrat's debates, the border crisis, and much more.

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Ideas First, Politics Second: 23 Years Of Uncommon Knowledge

featuring Peter M. Robinsonvia The Hoover Centennial
Friday, May 17, 2019

Reminiscing on the surprises, thought-provoking questions, and variety of renowned guests over twenty-three years of Uncommon Knowledge.

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Churchill: Walking with Destiny

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Andrew Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Biographer and historian Andrew Roberts, granted exclusive access to archives about Winston Churchill (including the diaries of King George VI), paints a portrait both familiar and fresh.


Hoover Panelists Address Prosperity In The Last 100 Years

featuring George P. Shultz, Terry Anderson, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Peter M. Robinson, Hoover Institutionvia Stanford Daily
Thursday, April 18, 2019

“If students here could take anything away from this right now — you have no idea how much us old guys up here suffered to make your lives better,” Peter M. Robinson said, as the audience broke into laughter. Robinson’s lighthearted sentiment echoed the more serious issues of standards of living and sustained financial prosperity addressed in the Hoover Institution’s panel discussion on Thursday, the second in a three-part centennial speaker series, A Century of Ideas for a Free Society.


Peter Robinson: Ep. 434: Not Easy Bein’ Green

interview with Peter M. Robinsonvia Ricochet
Friday, February 8, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson discusses Ricochet’s business model, the Green New Deal, and what is going in Richmond.
In the News

Five Years At The Keyboard

mentioning Peter M. Robinson, Hoover Institutionvia Prince George Citizen
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I do not watch televised news except on election night. For YouTube, I enjoy the Hoover Institution's Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, the Munk Debates, and The Mark Steyn Show, among others.

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Fables of the Unequal Outcome

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Economic outcomes often differ greatly among individuals, groups, institutions and nations. Why? Because of unfair and unjust discrimination? Usually not. Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell on his new book.

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“The Problem Is Sovereignty”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Will Britain really leave the European Union, as Prime Minister Theresa May has promised? And if it does, what then? Lawmaker Daniel Hannan explains.

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.