December 2, 2020
A little over 18 months ago, we interviewed author and columnist Douglas Murray about his then new book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. That show was one of our most-watched interviews of 2019, so we thought it was time to sit down with Douglas again and get an update on where things stand with regard to, as Douglas describes in his book, “the interpretation of the world through the lens of ‘social justice,’ ‘identity group politics’ and ‘intersectionalism’ . . . the most audacious and comprehensive effort since the end of the Cold War at creating a new ideology.” We also discuss European politics, examine Boris Johnson’s tenure as UK prime minister, and take a sobering look at American politics from the perspective of a very sharp observer.
Recorded on November 23, 2020
October 28, 2020
Hoover Fellows Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Peter Berkowitz discuss the final report recently issued by the US State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, of which Berkowitz was the commission secretary. Together they discuss the findings of the report, why Secretary of State Pompeo felt the need for the commission and the report, and the controversy that surrounded both. They compare and contrast the report to the US Constitution, which also prominently mentions unalienable rights, as well as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948. Finally, they discuss how US foreign policy should employ our belief in human rights to improve the human condition.
Recorded on September 3, 2020
October 7, 2020
Larry Kudlow is the director of the National Economic Council, a position he has held since April 2018. As such, Mr. Kudlow was on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in its early days, trying to manage and maintain one of the strongest economies in US history and prevent it from falling into a catastrophic depression. Kudlow discusses in detail what those dark days were like for Kudlow and the rest of the Trump administration and, in addition, how it felt to be on the receiving end of withering and seemingly endless criticism from the media and the administration’s political opponents. Kudlow also discusses why he thinks the economy is well positioned for a strong rebound once the virus is under control and why he fears a Biden administration may reverse many of the economic policies Kudlow has championed, which led to the economic progress achieved before the pandemic struck.
Recorded on October 6, 2020
September 28, 2020
John Yoo is a professor at the University of California–Berkeley School of Law and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Richard Epstein is a professor of law at NYU, a professor of law emeritus at the University of Chicago, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution. In this wide-ranging discussion, recorded the day after Amy Coney Barrett accepted President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the professors discuss Barrett’s qualifications and why it was correct and proper to nominate her now—five weeks before an election. They also provide, based on her writings on stare decisis (the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent), insight on how Barrett may rule on some issues sure to be put to in front of the court in the near future, including abortion. Finally, Epstein and Yoo remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom they both knew personally, and discuss her career, both as a jurist and as an activist.
Recorded on September 27, 2020
September 22, 2020
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, US Army, ret., the former national security advisor and the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution discusses his latest book, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, a re-examination of the most critical foreign policy and national security challenges that face the United States, and an urgent call to compete to preserve America’s standing and security. McMaster takes us through a world tour of hot spots and outlines the threats to our security, freedom, and prosperity, including nuclear proliferation and jihadist terrorism. McMaster also discusses his upbringing, his career as a soldier and an officer, and his new life as a policy expert at the Hoover Institution.
Recorded on March 13, 2020
September 11, 2020
Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson is proud to present the first interview with Condoleezza Rice in her new role as Director of Hoover Institution. After a storied career that includes Provost of Stanford University (1993-1999), United States National Security Advisor (2001-2005), and United States Secretary of State (2005-2009), the author of numerous books, and an inaugural member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, on September 1st, 2020 Director Rice became the Hoover Institution's eighth director in its 101 year history and the first woman to hold the position. In this wide ranging conversation, Peter Robinson and Director Rice discuss Hoover’s mission in the 21st century, the role of think tanks in crafting public policy, her views about the current geo-political situation regarding Russia and China, and her personal thoughts about the national conversation currently underway in the United States about racial relations and how we look back at the country’s founding and history.
Recorded on September 9th, 2020
September 6, 2020
Recorded on September 4, 2020
This is our third conversation with Hong Kong entrepreneur and freedom fighter, Jimmy Lai in less than a year. During that time, Lai has been arrested twice, his family and his employees and colleagues have been harassed and in some cases forced to leave Hong Kong, and Lai himself has been incarcerated. Currently free on bond and facing a trial and an uncertain future, Mr. Lai gets philosophical in this conversation. He describes how his faith has given him strength and comfort and that he is willing to make whatever sacrifice required in order to maintain democracy in Hong Kong. We discuss the political situation in Hong Kong, the precarious position of Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam, and how the United States and the world can apply pressure to the Chinese, and what’s at stake if Hong Kong becomes just another Chinese city.
For further information: https://www.hoover.org/publications/uncommon-knowledge
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August 4, 2020
Recorded on July 29, 2020
On the occasion of his new book, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power, Hoover visiting fellow and Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo joins the show to make a spirited case against the criticisms of Donald Trump for his supposed disruption of constitutional rules and norms. The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is a threat to the rule of law and the US Constitution. Mainstream media outlets have reported fresh examples of alleged executive overreach or authoritarian White House decisions nearly every day of his presidency. In the 2020 primaries, the candidates have rushed to accuse Trump of destroying our democracy and jeopardizing our nation’s very existence. In his book and on this show, John Yoo argues the opposite: that the Founders would have seen Trump as returning to their vision of presidential power, even at his most controversial and outrageous. It’s a fascinating and often humorous discussion that could not be more timely.
July 28, 2020
Recorded on July 24, 2020
This week, a conversation with Bjorn Lomborg, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, and one of the foremost climate experts in the world today. His new book, False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet, is an argument for treating climate as a serious problem but not an extinction-level event requiring such severe and drastic steps as rewiring a large part of the culture and the economy. Bjorn responds directly to some of the most vociferous climate policy critics, including Greta Thunberg, author David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming), and proponents of the Green New Deal. We also discuss some promising emerging technologies and why worst-case scenarios are often just that—scenarios that are used to motivate the public into action but are not in fact likely to occur. It’s a sobering and even-handed discussion on climate that does not include apocalyptic endings for the planet.
July 2, 2020
The day before this show was recorded, Dr. Thomas Sowell began his 10th decade of life. Remarkably on one hand and yet completely expected on the other, he remains as engaged, analytical, and thoughtful as ever. In this interview (one of roughly a dozen or so we’ve conducted with Dr. Sowell over the years), we delve into his new book Charter Schools and Their Enemies, a sobering look at the academic success of charter schools in New York City, and the fierce battles waged by teachers unions and progressive politicians to curtail them. Dr. Sowell’s conclusion is equally thought provoking: If the opponents of charter schools succeed, the biggest losers will be poor minority children for whom a quality education is the best chance for a better life.
Recorded on July 1, 2020