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

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
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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
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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.
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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. 

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“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.

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Area 45: The Art Of Presidential Wordsmithery Featuring Peter Robinson

interview with Peter M. Robinson, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Monday, June 5, 2017

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

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Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

by Peter M. Robinson featuring Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 24, 2017

There’s never been a level playing field, insists economist and Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell, and we should never have expected one. 

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the thirty-ninth prime minister of Denmark (2000–2009)

Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson: Anders Fogh Rasmussen And America’s Will To Lead

by Peter M. Robinson
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 39th prime minister of Denmark (2000–2009) and the twelfth secretary general of NATO (2009–14), joins Peter Robinson to discuss why America is the only proper policeman for the world. He argues that America’s failure to act, especially in cases like Syria, can lead to more harm than intervention.

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A Miracle or a Relic

by Peter M. Robinson interview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

Hoover fellow Terry Moe argues that the US Constitution is an anachronism that needs fundamental change. 

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Rust Belt Prophet

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

Family, sheer grit, and the Marine Corps rescued J. D. Vance, author of the searching memoir Hillbilly Elegy. He wonders what, if anything, will rescue his people.