Uncommon Knowledge

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Politics #141

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.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 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.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Recent Reviews
  • Sannah McDonough
    So happy to hear Thomas Sowell again
    Thank you for hosting him, what a wonderful opportunity to hear from Thomas Sowell! I wish him all the best and will be getting his latest book.
  • Chocolateotto
    Tom Sowell is beyond brilliant
    The one voice of common sense, logical trends and human dignity—I could listen to him forever exploding the harmful trends and traps we humans get caught up in. Thank you Peter Robinson for this interview.
  • bose 901
    Thomas Sowell
    Dr. Sowell is a national treasure. I’m always amazed by his ability to recall facts and trends and his uncanny nuanced understanding of their implications.
  • kylejmeyer
    Thank you.
    UK, I really appreciate hearing the perspectives of your guests. They are informative and thought provoking. Thank you.
  • 62es175
    Steven Koonin
    Now that’s science I can follow! I’m listening to the audio book now and have order a hard copy. Unsettled is spot on. Does anyone have Al Gore’s address? I’d like to send him a copy. Many thanks Peter Robinson for introducing us to so many wonderful scientific minds.
  • Mlp912
    Thankful
    I’m so thankful this pod cast exists.
  • Freddytwonotes
    More Stephen Kotkin
    World power was so well described we should be able to hear more from him. Thank you. In the 5 more questions for Stephen Kotkin, I found extremely disappointing at 14:30 in the interview that events leading up to war where totally ignored or purposely left out.
  • lrhhrl
    Too much leeway with guests
    Stephen Kotkin is an historian and a great biographer. Why is he talking about the peace deal in Ukraine? He can talk about Russian history, sure. But munitions and future defense pacts? A bit absurd and Peter didn’t challenge any points.
  • AlyMcElhaney
    The best!
    This podcast has refreshed my love and understanding of all things involving history and politics! I appreciate the truth in each episode and love that Peter and his guests are so articulate in their discussions and studies. As a conservative, it’s hard to find a good podcast with no hidden agenda!! I truly appreciate their point of view on each topic and love how easy matured the host is! Discovered this podcast today and am on my 6th episode already. 10/10
  • JMC7611
    Cold War II
    Great podcast! Everyone should listen and understand where this great country is headed. Peter is a wonderful interviewer with some of the most intriguing and knowledgeable guests available!
  • Fluff bay
    Great program
    The best interviewer of all time. My favorite podcast. Thanks for the great work.
  • Eazy Peazy
    The Art of Conversation
    Always enjoy Peter Robinson’s interviews.
  • Robert Henry Holtz
    Peter Robinson is the best interviewer in the game.
    Peter Robinson is the best interviewer in the game, he should be on PBS!! Every interview is such a great learning experience!!
  • Ken Stadlin
    Profound Groupthink
    I live with a conservative and am forced to try to expand my views. I have tried to listen to the shows, thinking that they might allow those with opposing views and equal intellectual accomplishment an occasional opportunity to present their views. Thus far I have never seen such an effort. I can see the logic and the arguments of the right. I want to understand them though I might not agree. The intellectual capacities of the hosts are wasted on self congratulation of conservatives and the arrogant presumption that their arguments are correct simply because they are conservative without any presentation of opposing viewpoints. Lots of intellectual horsepower is wasted here. I wish this show had more depth.
  • Bill on the go
    Amazing!
    Stephen Kotkin is just amazing, articulate, and speaks the truth. Thank God he is an American.
  • old lady geologist
    Gems in the Crown, II
    The podcast with guests Tom Holland, Stephen Meyer, and Douglas Murray was excellent and provided a conversation most do not get to hear. It was one of Robinson‘s best. Then, I listened to his conversation with the inestimable John Lennox, Michael Behe , and Stephen Meyer. I had to listen to it twice. These people are so interesting and their ideas transcend the current intellectual box all of us were raised up in, Scientific materialism. As a trained geologist, I never questioned Darwinian evolution, but over time I kept running up against the wall that is described perfectly by these gentlemen. Thank you for bringing them together. I hope more people open up their minds.
  • AxelJacobsen
    Decent when non-scientific topics are discussed
    Listen to the episode with Behe et. al. on intelligent design if you haven’t hit your monthly quota of strokes.
  • Asciguy
    Hoover Institution
    The name says it all.
  • Investissuese
    Res ipsa loquitor!
    Murray, Holland, and Myers. What a coup! Brilliant and surpsrising conversation. Thank you, Peter.
  • BAMDDS
    Ethos and Economics
    Thank you for bringing clarity to the economic bounty I lived through 1980-1990 The 4 points that can bring standard of living back toUSA. Gives me hope . Gif Bless BAM
  • buck06daliard
    PLEASE increase the volume…
    Great content with thoughtful insights. Unfortunately some of the shows are recorded at such a low level that they are almost “unlistenable” if the listener has any ambient background noise. I follow several podcasts and this is the only one with this problem. The content is too good and too deserving - please increase the recording volume.
  • DocTicToc
    Uncommon Host
    Peter Robinson is truly a delight as an interviewer and host of this podcast. He is soo well informed about each subject. You can feel and see his constant efforts to gently direct the guest by asking questions so obviously thoughtful and extremely pertinent to each topic. He never interferes with the responses of the guest but rather expands the topic when needed. I am constantly in awe of his grasp of each topic.
  • EgStafford
    Francis and Air Conditioning
    This was another great program by Peter Robinson. It impressed me greatly that he had read Laudato Si and not missed Pope Francis’ denunciation of air conditioning. Bjorn Lomborg gave Francis the benefit of the doubt concerning good intentions gone awry, quite fair, but perhaps Francis’ negative view of air conditioning concerned the costly and inefficient use of A.C. in stadia and other fora, for example, at the Qatar World Cup venues. Perhaps. 4 of 5 leaves room for improvement.
  • Telltail Heart
    FCB Montgomery County Pa.
    Great place to go to be informed on conservative intellectual issues - it has helped direct my book purchases.
  • MGThill
    Roland Fryer
    Excellent interview with Roland Fryer. So thankful for his research on police interactions with the Black community. I pray this anti- police narrative will change as a result of his findings so that black lives will be saved! Makes so much sense. When police are defunded, black on black crime goes up! These institutions, liberal politicians, etc that push false narratives about police don’t care about black lives!
  • NotSoFast11
    Some of the most worthwhile interviews in the media.
    Excellent interviews with great thinkers. The interviewer somehow equates being a sycophant with showing respect, but other than that he asks great questions.
  • goodstuffalways
    Intellectually fascinating
    Peter is a remarkable interviewer. His depth of knowledge about each guest and their topic keeps me engaged and wanting to know more.
  • Tampa Fam
    Talented interviewer
    The interviewer’s skill is so key to making a good interview, Peter is a master. These author interviews and the ones John Batchelor does are head and shoulders above anything else available these days.
  • sigridfaye
    Loved Barr Interview
    Loved this; plan to read his book now! His no-nonsense, balanced judgements helped change my mind about a few things, especially about Trump running in 2024; I have supported Trump in past (while despising his pettiness at times) and will support him again if need be, but Barr makes really sound case for why that will probably not be what is in Americas best interest. He has actually restored some of my faith in at least the DOJ. Thank you Mr Barr for being loyal to our constitution verses a political party/or person. We need more like you!
  • Tom Connely
    Tom Connelly
    Peter Robinson is among the best interviewers I have ever heard. He asks probing, incisive questions, and gives the person being interviewed ample, uninterrupted time to answer the questions
  • Naperville Matt
    Bill Barr
    Just read his book and greatly enjoyed the interview. We need a lot more people like him in government. Serious people who can relate to all of us. People with integrity who know and respect the law and our federalist system. His points about Trump are correct . Trump did a good job, but he is not the only be to win big in 2024 and right the ship going forward.
  • JimInLG
    Few interviewers are better prepared than Peter Robinson
    This visits with Thomas Sowell are the best
  • Dc_Seattle
    A gem of serious thought
    So happy to have regular doses of the great Hoover Institution and supporters, one of the few remaining bastions of pro American, mostly optimistic and forward looking policy development centers in US higher education. Thank you Mr Robinson for bringing this resource to the public at large!
  • THEDAYISMINE
    Really really really really really good
    Ish he was my uncle.
  • CSAnglican
    Intelligent interviewer Par excellence
    The more episodes that I view or hear, the more I admire and respect Peter Robinson. Of course, most of the guests are interesting and informative but I gradually came to realize that Mr. Robinson added as much to the dialogue as did the guests. The program would not be where it is without him.
  • Nesorneb
    Interview Suggestion
    I am a center right conservative and very much value Mr. Robinson's interviews on this podcast. I've heard some on the Right suggest that America is in historic decline (the Left seems to have decided our decline is inevitable &, even, deserved) while others insist that America has historically reinvented itself & become stronger throughout our history & in response to existential crisis. Which is it? I think it's critical for an intelligent & serious show such as Uncommon Knowledge to host a conversation that explores 21st Century America: A Nation in Decline or A Nation ???
  • robster7996
    Youth is wasted on the young!
    The woke movement has joined forces with the corporatists money, the neo marxist critical theorists who concurred all of the Ivy league and elite left academy. It is the existential threat of the short Nazi empire and the longer lived Soviet communist empire and now the Chinese communist empire all rolled into one. It is the stalking killer of Judaeo Christian western civilization and will lead us to nuclear war with the other totalitarian civilizations just like Orwells visionary 1984 but Orwell had no idea of nuclear weapons when he wrote his novel in the 1930s. Their is good news for those with ears to hear and a willingness to be humbled. Not by kissing woksters feet and endlessly prostrating themselves for the sins of long passed ancestors but by embracing a Jewish carpenters message and self sacrifice for even the people who murdered him. When he returns the forgiveness ends in the midst of nuclear annihilation and those dedicated to evil will be delt with once and for all. Amen
  • fiahsticks47
    Host interrupts constantly
    He doesn’t seem interested in letting his guests actually answer his questions. They’ll get half a sentence into a response and he’ll cut them off to answer his own question. It’s so bad it would actually be kind of hilarious if he was doing it on purpose. But he isn’t, and so it is just irritating.
  • hayden15
    The best interviewer and guest
    Always interested in the show, important and fascinating topics and guests. Stephen Kotkin episodes are so timely, gave us historical analysis and perspectives. Needed this kind of clear thoughts in the current global situation.
  • Still So Much to Learn
    Wonderful
    Wonderful and entertaining discussion of tough, important legal issues. Thank you!
  • Harmony4USA
    Where do I get one?!
    Just listened to “Judging the Justices”. Right up there as one of the best episodes. “Takings” is available on Amazon. But I can’t find Richard Epstein’s bobble head. When will they be available?!
  • Michele listening in Pa
    Listening in Pa
    Fascinating discussion with Andrew Roberts. I love that Peter asks the questions the average listener is thinking of!
  • sleepimg dog
    WTG VDH !!!
    Loved the episode with VDH in November The summary points at the end of the show are Solid Gold. Inspiring words, Keep it up, we’re not dead yet.
  • DWResearch
    The merging of philosophy with history with high intellect
    I have been watching Peter Robinson host this show for at least five years, perhaps longer. It always comes across as thoughtful, reasonable, brilliant, and just well done. Mr. Robinson is the type of interviewer who can help make the sense of his guests pour forth in a way that is understandable to anyone. He highlights useful and effective points, but never overlooks the underside of those points. He digs down deep, but does so without losing the glitter of the surface. This is a thoughtful show for thinking people.
  • denbo44
    Close the close quote already.
    Does it really have to be every time?? This quirk of yours has started to trigger me of late. Just give it a miss once so you can say you’ve done it. I’ll be waiting for it as I never miss an episode. Well, you can’t blame me for the professional fat slob low life Chris Christie. Wait! You just failed to close quote. Okay. Good enough. Carry on. No more Chi’s Christie though. Merry Christmas. Dennbo49
  • thejdhull
    An absolute treat
    In a vapid American culture, this podcast is like a breath of intellectual fresh air. Every episode I listen to multiple times, and every author I vote with my bank account and buy their books.
  • D-Bo419
    Great podcast
    Super informative. Great conversations.
  • Victory1753
    VDH
    I love to hear all things VDH! I listen to all the pods and intend to get the latest book. But, why no love from any of the best conservative podcasters for Bongino? Are there issues we don’t know about? It’s not everyday a man puts up his millions for his principals. It seems we should celebrate this but just cobwebs. If you have the time to investigate, we, the conservative populace, appreciate greatly. Thank you and keep up the great work!
  • Bad Actor Get Your Grove On!
    Generally helpful
    While I don’t agree with all the conclusions posed by those interviewed, this podcast is generally helpful and insightful.
  • sgdm91
    HR is too far removed
    I just finish the episode with Victor in reference to the loss in Afghanistan. I try not to use my time in service too make a point but I want you to now that I have seen this up front. I spent my last 20 years in special operations commands and I’ve done multiple deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. HR your last comment at the end of that episode showed me that you are extremely sequestered in a bubble of of senior military leaders as well as academics. I think you need to look around a little bit more and see what big tech is done to conservative voices; there is no freedom there. I think you should look at what the senior military leadership is doing to our troops. Look at the morale of our junior mid-level enlisted and officers. They do not have a voice and it’s a shame that you get on a show like this and offer this fictitious narrative that we have a voice. There are individuals like yourself that are fortunate to have a voice but refuse to push back on the generals, both active and retired. But I fear you’re more worried about your country club interactions than you are about the truth and the status of our military. I guess this is just a ramblings of an old army guy and will fall on deaf ears. Use your soapbox to say to those retired officers and active duty senior officers to not be politicized and STOP defending them. Thank you, CW5 (Ret) Joe Wall
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