Peter M. Robinson

Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow
Biography: 

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

Victor Davis Hanson on War and History: Chapter 3 of 5

by Peter M. Robinson with Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

VDH discusses his trip to Iraq, his time with General David Petraeus, and whether the surge is sustainable...

In the News

Victor Davis Hanson on War and History: Chapter 2 of 5

by Peter M. Robinson with Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

VDH discusses the war in Iraq — from the stunning initial victory, to the protracted post-victory malaise, to the remarkably successful surge...

In the News

Victor Davis Hanson on War and History: Chapter 1 of 5

by Peter M. Robinson with Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Monday, December 10, 2007

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson discusses the current war against radical Islam, calling it a true world war and comparing it to the epic global struggles of the 20th century...

Norman Podhoretz

Uncommon Knowledge: Norman Podhoretz

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Norman Podhoretzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, November 30, 2007

Writing in his new book World War IV, Norman Podhoretz asserts that “the great struggle into which the United States was plunged by 9/11 can only be understood if we think of it as World War IV.” (34:37) Video transcript

Victor Davis Hanson

Uncommon Knowledge: Victor Davis Hanson

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Victor Davis Hansonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, November 30, 2007

As a military historian, Victor Davis Hanson places America's current war in Iraq, President Bush's leadership, and military successes and failures in the context of America's long history of conflicts from the Civil War to the world wars of the twentieth century. He reports on his most recent trip to Iraq where he witnessed the surge firsthand and met with General David Petraeus and Sunni sheiks. He takes up the challenges posed by Iran and the need at home for all Americans to have a greater understanding of the military's role in society. (34:42) Video transcript

Florida governor Jeb Bush

Uncommon Knowledge: Governor Jeb Bush

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Jeb Bushvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In Florida, where Democrats outnumber Republicans, Governor Jeb Bush won both election and reelection by comfortable margins, reformed education, cut taxes, stood up for traditional moral values, and left office after eight years with an approval rating of more than 60 percent. How did he do it? Peter Robinson speaks with Governor Jeb Bush about what it means to be a conservative, his views on America’s current domestic agenda and foreign policy challenges, faith and politics, and the 2007 Republican presidential candidates. Video transcript (32:40)

In the News

Jekyll, Hyde, Mitt...and Milton

by Peter M. Robinson with John F. Cogan, Milton Friedmanvia Corner (National Review Online)
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

If you liked “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” take a look at Mitt Romney on health care...

Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens On Iraq

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Christopher Hitchensvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 23, 2007

What is the situation on the ground in Iraq — militarily and politically? Should the United States stay or withdraw, and what would be the consequences of each? Christopher Hitchens, one of the war’s most ardent supporters, analyzes the current battle taking place in America over the direction and management of this most divisive of wars and argues that it is imperative that America stand by its commitment to the people of Iraq. (29:29) Video transcript

Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens—The Morals of an Atheist

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 23, 2007

If there is no God—no ground of being—if human beings represent nothing more than temporary swarms of atoms, then what sense does it make even to speak of “right” and “wrong”? Where does morality come from? Reflecting on what he calls “the appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided,….” Christopher Hitchens takes on the likes of Jonathan Swift, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Darwin in making his case for atheism. (20:53) Video transcript

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Fireside Chat with US Senator John McCain

by Peter M. Robinsonwith John S. McCain IIIvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

U.S. Senator John McCain in conversation with The Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson.

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