Uncommon Knowledge
Maverick: Jason Riley On The Life And Times Of Thomas Sowell

Maverick: Jason Riley On The Life And Times Of Thomas Sowell

May 26, 2021

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley has just published Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowellthe definitive account of the life of Hoover senior fellow Thomas Sowell. In this wide-ranging interview, Peter Robinson and Riley discuss the events and people that helped Sowell become one of the most important American voices on cultural, economic, and racial matters of the last 50 years.

Recorded on May 13, 2021

Doom: Niall Ferguson On The Politics And Policies Of The Pandemic

Doom: Niall Ferguson On The Politics And Policies Of The Pandemic

May 4, 2021

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, his new book on the decisions made by governments and public health officials around the world during the COVID pandemic. In this wide-ranging discussion, Ferguson describes what governments and leaders got right and got wrong—very wrong—over the 15 months since the coronavirus spread from China. Were the lockdowns instituted around the world prudent and life saving, or did they cause more damage by crippling economies and creating massive unemployment and enormous government debt across the globe? How can vaccines be created and distributed faster and more efficiently than this one? Finally, what lessons can we learn from this pandemic that can be applied to or even prevent the next one? Yes, Niall is certain there will be another one.

Recorded on April 28, 2021

Cold War II—Just How Dangerous Is China?

Cold War II—Just How Dangerous Is China?

April 13, 2021

China is a nation with 1.3 billion people, an economy projected to become bigger than the United States’ in just a few years, and a rapidly growing military.  Hong Kong has already fallen under its authority. Meanwhile, Taiwan looms in the distance—with a population of almost 24 million, it’s a technology hub and the world’s leading manufacturer of microchips and other items essential to high tech. What are China’s ambitions toward Taiwan? And if they are ominous, what should the US response to Chinese aggression be? To answer these questions, we’re joined by two experts: former national security advisor (and current Hoover Institution senior fellow) H. R. McMaster and former US deputy national security advisor (and current Hoover distinguished visiting fellow) Matthew Pottinger. They also discuss the Biden administration’s recent diplomatic encounters with China, and which countries might be allies in a conflict with China—and which ones would not be. 

Recorded on April 9, 2021

Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

April 6, 2021

Dr. Stephen Meyer directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He returns to Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson to discuss his newest book,  Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In this wide-ranging and often mind-bending interview, Dr. Meyer explains the God Hypothesis; makes his continuing and evolving case for intelligent design; describes how Judeo-Christian theology gave rise to science; discusses why the discovery of DNA is actually an enigma, as its existence cannot be explained by natural selection; and more.

Recorded on March 30, 2021

Reclaiming Freedom in the UK, with Laurence Fox

Reclaiming Freedom in the UK, with Laurence Fox

March 25, 2021
Interview with Laurence Fox
Thursday, March 25, 2021
 

A brilliant British actor, Laurence Fox happened to say something mildly controversial on the BBC last year—and suddenly found himself a victim of cancel culture. Instead of retreating or apologizing, Fox made the unusual choice to not just rebel but to do it in the most public way possible: by running for mayor of London. Fox knows his chances of winning are slim, but he is using his candidacy to shine a light on what he considers the heavy hand of political correctness in our culture, the increasing lack of freedom of speech, and the oppressive nature of COVID lockdowns in the United Kingdom. It’s a bold and innovative strategy, and who knows—it just might work. 

Recorded on March 23, 2021

Keeping Your Cool on the Climate Debate with Bjorn Lomborg

Keeping Your Cool on the Climate Debate with Bjorn Lomborg

March 10, 2021

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School. He’s also been speaking and writing about climate science for almost 20 years. In this wide-ranging discussion with Peter Robinson, Lomborg analyzes the Biden administration’s plan to address climate change, lauds a slew of new clean energy technologies that are coming in the next decade, and discusses the upsides—and the downsides—of migrating the world from a carbon-based economy to one based on electricity generated by clean energy sources.

Recorded on March 4, 2021

Prey: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Relationship between Immigration and Sexual Assaults in Europe

Prey: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Relationship between Immigration and Sexual Assaults in Europe

February 23, 2021

Hoover research fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book is Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights. It examines the sharp rise in the number of sexual assaults in Western Europe that coincides with the sharp rise in illegal immigration from Muslim-majority countries. The book points out that almost three million people have arrived illegally in Europe since 2009, close to two million in 2015 alone. A majority have come from Muslim-majority countries. Two-thirds are male, and 80 percent of asylum applicants are under the age of 35. In this conversation, Peter Robinson and Hirsi Ali explore the cause-and-effect relationships occurring in these countries, and the responses from European governments, law enforcement, and most surprisingly, from feminists in both Europe and the United States who seem very eager to deflect attention away from illegal immigration, a point the book makes very strongly.

The Impeachment of a Former President, with Richard Epstein, Andrew McCarthy, and John Yoo

The Impeachment of a Former President, with Richard Epstein, Andrew McCarthy, and John Yoo

February 9, 2021

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins on February 9, 2021, but a fierce debate as to the constitutionality of trying a former president in this manner has been ongoing in the legal community for weeks. To bring some possible clarity and resolution to the matter, we assembled three of best and most cogent legal minds we know: Professor John Yoo of Berkeley Law School, Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago and New York University School of Law, and Andrew McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and a legal commentator for National Review and Fox News. Two of our guests argue that a former president of the United States can be tried; one guest takes the other side of the argument. We won’t reveal who takes what angle, but we can say that both points of view get a thorough airing. We leave it to our audience to determine the winning argument.

Recorded on February 8, 2021

Remembering Roger Scruton, With UK Minister Michael Gove

Remembering Roger Scruton, With UK Minister Michael Gove

January 26, 2021

To mark the first anniversary of the passing of Roger Scruton, Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson was asked by the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation to participate in its Remembering Roger Scruton Memorial Event by interviewing the Right Honourable Michael Gove. Gove is a member of Parliament,  a member of Britain’s Conservative Party, and the current chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office.  Gove began reading Scruton’s work as a teenager, and it had a very strong influence on Gove’s intellectual journey toward becoming a Conservative. In this conversation, Gove describes his own relationship with Scruton, how Scruton influenced British politics while living and even after his death, and how Scruton’s fierce support of Brexit was both personally and politically helpful to Gove. He also discusses Scruton's warnings about— and his own experience fighting—“wokeness,” as well as what Scruton might have thought about lockdowns. Finally, Gove shares some thoughts about Scruton’s legacy and how history might remember him.

Recorded on January 12, 2021

The Lord And Lady Thatcher

The Lord And Lady Thatcher

January 12, 2021

In 1997, Margaret Thatcher asked Charles Moore (also known as Lord Baron Moore of Etchingham) to write her biography, under two conditions: that she would never read the manuscript and that the work would appear only after her death. Twenty-four years later, Moore has just published the third and final volume of Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography. In this conversation, Peter Robinson and Moore discuss Thatcher’s final years as prime minister and her life out of office. They delve into Thatcher’s relationships with the world leaders of her era, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. They also discuss her image now, seven years after her passing, including her portrayal in Netflix’s The Crown. Moore points out that while the show gets many personal details about Thatcher correct, it takes massive liberties when depicting her relationship with Queen Elizabeth and her stewardship of many important events that occurred during her tenure as prime minister, including the Falklands War and the coal miners' strike.

Recorded on December 14, 2020

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