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ELEPHANTS ON PARADE: Conservatism in Modern America

with David M. Kennedy, Sam Tanenhausvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 3, 2000

For the last half of the twentieth century, the conservative movement in the United States was defined by two prominent doctrines: first, containment of the Soviet Union, and second, an effort to roll back the expansion of the federal government that began with the New Deal. With the first adversary out of existence, and the second in retreat, what does American conservatism stand for today? We look back to the roots of the conservative movement, its guiding principles and its leading proponents, including William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan. We look to the future of American conservatism: Will it remain a unified movement or will internal tensions break it apart?

THE THIN BLUE LINE: United Nations Peacekeeping Missions

with Abraham D. Sofaer, Stephen Stedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Are peacekeeping missions undertaken by the United Nations a good idea? Is there a difference between peacekeeping and peacemaking? What sort of conflicts should the UN become involved in and which should it avoid? What are the alternatives to UN peacekeeping missions? Why have the number of UN missions increased so dramatically since the beginning of the 1990s?

SEE JOHNNY CLICK: Computers in Education

with Charles Garvin, William L. Rukeyser, Alan Warhaftigvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Will computers revolutionize education or not? President Clinton called for connecting every classroom in America to the Internet. School districts across the country are spending billions of dollars on computers for the classroom. Will all of this effort pay off or is it misguided? Just how should computers be used in the classroom? Is it possible that computers can actually harm the educational process?

THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN: Britain and the European Union

with Robert Conquest, Tony Baldryvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 21, 2000

Should Britain continue on the path towards political and economic integration within the European Union? Many in Britain are skeptical of the benefits of political unification with continental Europe. What does Britain stand to gain or lose by ceding sovereignty to the European Union? Would Britain’s interests be better served by strengthening its special relationship with the United States?

DON’T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW: The Clinton Legacy

with Hendrik Hertzbergvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 21, 2000

What will be the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton? Will the Lewinski scandal and the impeachment define his presidency, or will people set those events aside and concentrate on his political achievements or lack thereof? How serious was Clinton’s misconduct in office? Was his domestic economic and political agenda a success or a failure? And how should we rate the foreign policy record of the Clinton administration?

A CRACK IN THE ICE: The Legacy of the Reykjavik Summit

with George P. Shultz, Hendrik Hertzbergvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 21, 2000

In 1986, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss nuclear arms control. The American and Russian leaders negotiated boldly, pushing each other far past the limits of previous arms control agreements. Reagan and Gorbachev were soon close to an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons. The stopping point: Gorbachev insisted that America's Strategic Defensive Initiative, or "Star Wars" be scrapped. Reagan refused, and no agreements were reached. What is the legacy of the Reykjavik Summit? Was it a failure, a historic opportunity squandered? Or was it the beginning of the end of the Cold War?

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY’S OVER: Why Socialism Didn’t Happen in the United States

with Seymour Martin Lipset, Martin Carnoyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 17, 2000

Why did socialism fail to become a major force in American society? Every major first world country has been governed by a socialist or social democratic party at some point in the past century...except the United States. Does socialism’s failure in the United States stem from strategic mistakes made by socialist leaders? Or has socialism always been fundamentally incompatible with American culture?

HOW GREEDY IS MY VALLEY? Techno-libertarians in Silicon Valley

with Paulina Borsook, John McCaskey, T.J. Rodgersvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 17, 2000

Why are so many in Silicon Valley, from the cubicles to the boardrooms, likely to be libertarians, or technolibertarians, as some have called them? What do these technolibertarians believe about the role of government and entrepreneurship? How will they use the massive wealth that’s been created in Silicon Valley during the past several decades? Are they promoting the public welfare or shirking responsibility by not participating in the political process?

COLOMBIAN (WHITE) POWDER KEG: U.S. Aid to Colombia

with Paul Boeker, Mathea Falco, Doug Osevia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 17, 2000

It is estimated that Colombia produces 90 percent of the cocaine and 65 percent of the heroin consumed in the United States. In July of 2000, with bipartisan support, President Clinton signed a $1.3 billion aid package for Colombia to help that country with its war on drugs. The package includes providing the Colombian Army with military helicopters and U.S. military advisors. Will the aid package succeed in stemming the flow of drugs from Colombia, or will it entangle the United States in Colombia's bloody civil war? Will American soldiers lose their lives fighting the drug war in Colombia? Is this a necessary escalation of our own war on drugs or a bad idea?

WHOSE GENES? Patenting the Human Genome

with John Barton, Hugh Rienhoff, Seth Shulmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 13, 2000

Over the past several years, biotechnology companies, in a race to find possible new drugs, have deluged the U.S. Patent Office with tens of thousands of requests for patents on pieces of human DNA. Are gene patents being granted inappropriately, before gene functions are fully understood? Are gene patents encouraging or hindering the progress of medicine and the development of new drugs? Some critics have a broader objection to gene patents, arguing that it is inappropriate to give a company the exclusive right to genetic material that is inside us all. Are gene patents, as they suggest, patents on life?

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For more than two decades the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

“Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

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