Uncommon Knowledge
Yoram Hazony Rediscovers Conservatism

Yoram Hazony Rediscovers Conservatism

June 23, 2022

Yoram Hazony is the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation and president of the Herzl Institute. His 2018 book, The Virtue of Nationalism, established Hazony as one of the leading proponents of a new kind of “national conservatism.” His new book, Conservatism: A Rediscovery, has set off a passionate debate among intellectuals on the Right to determine what “national conservatism” actually means and why conservatism needs to be rediscovered. We put those questions and many more to Hazony in this interview.

Recorded on May 17, 2022

More Than “One Damn Thing,” with Bill Barr

More Than “One Damn Thing,” with Bill Barr

June 7, 2022

William P. Barr is one of only two people to have served as attorney general of the United States under two presidents and the only one to have done it in two different centuries (under George H. W. Bush from 1991 to 1993 and under Donald Trump from 2019 to 2020). In his new book, One Damn Thing after Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, Barr goes into great detail about the chaos, the troubles, and the triumph that occurred during the time of his service under President Trump. This wide-ranging interview covers Russiagate, the COVID outbreak, civil unrest, the impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout. Barr is very candid and forthcoming in his opinions on those events and his thoughts on his former boss.

Recorded on May 17, 2022

Harvey Mansfield Counts His Blessings

Harvey Mansfield Counts His Blessings

May 23, 2022

The political philosopher Harvey Mansfield first arrived at Harvard University in the fall of 1949. He has remained at that august institution of higher education and is still teaching at age 90. In this special edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, recorded in the Baker Library at Dartmouth College, Dr. Mansfield answers five questions about America today from his perspective of observing and writing about the country for more than half a century.

Recorded on April 15, 2022

The Importance of Being Ethical, with Jordan Peterson

The Importance of Being Ethical, with Jordan Peterson

April 29, 2022

By any measure, Dr. Jordan Peterson is the most famous (now former—as is discussed in this interview) Canadian professor of clinical psychology in the world. He’s also a deep thinker and a best-selling author of multiple books, and has amassed a huge following through podcasts, YouTube videos, and public speaking. Today, Jordan Peterson is one of the most influential voices in the “anti-woke” movement and this powerful interview demonstrates why.

Recorded on April 20, 2022, as part of a Classical Liberalism Seminar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Are We Dumb about Intelligence? Amy Zegart on the Capabilities of American Intel Gathering

Are We Dumb about Intelligence? Amy Zegart on the Capabilities of American Intel Gathering

March 30, 2022

Amy Zegart is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of political science at Stanford University, and the author of a new book, Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence. In this frank conversation, Zegart grades American intelligence-gathering operations, recent and historical, and compares them to their counterparts in China and Russia. Professor Zegart also discusses Silicon Valley’s crucial role in these operations and how they often conflict with the politics of the people running tech companies. Finally, Zegart discusses the crucial ability of the intelligence community to recruit the next generation of spies and analysts, some of whom may be her own students.

Recorded on March 17, 2022

Bari Weiss on Post-Mainstream Media Life and Her Battles in the Culture Wars

Bari Weiss on Post-Mainstream Media Life and Her Battles in the Culture Wars

March 15, 2022

Recorded on February 15, 2022

Bari Weiss began her career as a mainstream media prodigy, landing coveted positions at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in her early twenties. In 2020, she famously resigned from the Times when conditions there became intolerable for her, famously writing in a public resignation letter that “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor.” Now Weiss is the publisher of Common Sense, her wildly popular Substack newsletter, and the host of the Honestly with Bari Weiss podcast. Her ambition is nothing short of becoming a 21st-century one-woman media company, and based on what she reveals in this interview, she is well on her way to achieving that goal.

5 More Questions For Stephen Kotkin: Ukraine Edition

5 More Questions For Stephen Kotkin: Ukraine Edition

March 3, 2022

Last month, Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson asked Princeton Professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin 5 questions, all in the foreign policy and history realm. Since then, the world has changed in ways that were unimaginable just 3 weeks ago. So we asked Professor Kotkin to come back for a second round of questions, this time all dedicated to one topic: the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And as usual, his answers are concise, incisive, and analytic. If you want to understand this crisis and some possible outcomes, don’t miss this conversation. 

5 Questions For Stephen Kotkin

5 Questions For Stephen Kotkin

February 4, 2022

Stephen Kotkin is a professor of history at Princeton and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of nine works of history, including the first two volumes of his planned three-volume history of Russian power and Joseph Stalin, Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 and Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941. The premise of this show is simple: Peter Robinson poses five questions to Dr. Kotkin: what Xi Jinping, the president of China believes; what Vladimir Putin believes; whether nuclear weapons are a deterrent in the 21st century; the chances of another American renewal; and Kotkin’s rational basis for loving the United States. It’s a fascinating conversation that delves deep into one of the country’s brightest minds.

Recorded on January 14, 2022

Judging The Justices: Epstein And Yoo On The New Originalist Supreme Court

Judging The Justices: Epstein And Yoo On The New Originalist Supreme Court

January 26, 2022

In what has now become an annual tradition on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, law professors John Yoo and Richard Epstein join the show to opine on a newly minted Supreme Court. For the first time in decades, today’s court is dominated by a majority of originalist justices—justices who believe the Constitution means today just what the document meant when it was ratified more than 200 years ago. The professors discuss and analyze Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (the case that may overturn Roe v. Wade), the court’s ruling on mask mandates, voting rights legislation, and other cases to watch. The professors also reminisce about the time the current president of the United States waved a book authored by a then unknown law professor on national television during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing. As usual, our yearly show with professors Epstein and Yoo is the closest you can get to law school without having to take the LSATs.

Recorded on January 20, 2022

The Last King of America: Andrew Roberts on King George III

The Last King of America: Andrew Roberts on King George III

January 11, 2022

In his long and distinguished career, British historian Andrew Roberts has produced world-class biographies of Winston Churchill, and Napoleonseveral histories of World War II and the men who led the countries who fought that war, and other great conflicts in world history. Roberts’s new book is The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III, a biography of the monarch who led England during the American Revolution and who has been made into something of a caricature by Americans, most recently by his portrayal in the musical Hamilton as a preening, stuck-up (but funny) king of England. In this interview and in his book, Roberts goes to great lengths to deconstruct that distortion and, in the process, give us an extremely nuanced and detailed portrait of the man who created the conditions for America’s independence. Roberts also explains in great detail the dynamics between the British parliament and the nascent American government, including a fascinating account of the writing of and subsequent British reaction to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Recorded on December 3, 2021

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