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

Fred Thompson, The Candidate

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Fred Thompsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, June 11, 2007

Hoover Institution fellow, Peter Robinson, speaks with Fred Thompson about his candidacy for President of the United States. Robinson delves into the key issues facing America today, the politics of running for president, and the source of Thompson's conservative views. (14:47) Video transcript

Analysis and Commentary

Reagan Night

by Peter M. Robinsonvia National Review Online
Friday, May 4, 2007

On Thursday night, the current crop of Republicans running for president in 2008 met at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, for their first debate...

Governor Haley Barbour

How Can The GOP Get Its Groove Back?

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Haley Barbourvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, April 23, 2007

Governor Haley Barbour reflects on the current state of the Grand Old Party and what it will take for it to regain its prominence in American politics. What did the GOP do right in the mid-nineties to capture a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years, and what is it doing wrong today? And how can the party adapt the conservatism of Ronald Reagan to the current issues of the day? Video transcripts

John Micklethwait

Inside The Economist Magazine

by Peter M. Robinsonwith John Micklethwaitvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, February 5, 2007

From his vantage point as the editor-in-chief of one of the most respected news magazines in the world, John Micklethwait discusses how this 150-year-old “newspaper” maintains its leadership position in the increasing precarious environment of print journalism. Along the way, he offers his job performance evaluation of Tony Blair and George Bush and is challenged to defend his previous assertion that “The conservative movement has become the dominant intellectual force in American politics.” (42:47) Video transcript

Analysis and Commentary

A Capital Thinker

by Peter M. Robinson with Milton Friedmanvia Stanford Magazine
Monday, January 1, 2007

Milton Friedman was an unlikely candidate to become a great man...

Analysis and Commentary

Model Ford

by Peter M. Robinsonvia National Review Online
Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Former President Gerald Ford died on December 26 at age 93...

David M. Kennedy

Bring Back The Draft

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Edwin Meese III, David M. Kennedyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Under President Nixon, in 1973 the United States abolished the draft, moving to an all-volunteer armed forces. Now some—most notably New York congressman Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee—have called for a reinstatement of the draft. Is this a good idea? What lessons from history can we call on to help answer this question? And what impact would the reinstatement of the draft have on society as a whole and the military in particular? Peter Robinson speaks with David Kennedy and Edwin Meese. (33:11) Video transcript

Edwin Meese III

The Iraq Study Group

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Edwin Meese IIIvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As one of the prominent conservative members of the Iraq Study Group, Edwin Meese has drawn withering criticism from the right for the group's recommendations—the National Review calling their final report "dressed-up surrender in Iraq." Just what does the report say about the situation in Iraq, what to do about troop levels, and a "new diplomatic offensive in the Middle East"? Meese takes on the key points and their critics and offers a strong defense of the positions staked out by the Iraq Study Group.(34:33) Video transcript

Michael Spence

Economic Growth In India and China

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Michael Spencevia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, November 27, 2006

According to Michael Spence, “We are entering a period in which the two most populous countries in the world are the fastest-growing countries in the world—and the fastest-growing countries in the history of the world.” How have India and China done it, and what problems do they face as they seek to sustain this growth? What threats do these two economic powers pose to the United States, and what strategies should guide our relations with them? (37:01) Video transcript

In the News

Friedman's indispensable role in 20th-century history

by Peter M. Robinsonvia San Jose Mercury News
Sunday, November 19, 2006

``The great man or woman in history,'' the philosopher Sidney Hook argued in ``The Hero in History,'' his classic study -- ``is someone of whom we can say . . . that if they had not lived when they did, or acted as they did, the history of their countries and of the world . . . would have been profoundly different..."

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