Uncommon Knowledge
Do Not Defund: Roland Fryer and Rafael Mangual on Crime and Policing in the 21st Century

Do Not Defund: Roland Fryer and Rafael Mangual on Crime and Policing in the 21st Century

August 3, 2022

Roland Fryer is a professor of economics at Harvard University. Fryer's research combines economic theory, empirical evidence, and randomized experiments to help design more effective government policies. His work on education, inequality, and race has been widely cited in media outlets and congressional testimony. Rafael Mangual is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and head of research for its Policing and Public Safety Initiative. He is also the author of a new book, Criminal (In)Justice: What the Push for Decarceration and Depolicing Gets Wrong and Who It Hurts Most. Together, Mangual and Fryer take a close look at what is and is not working in policing and law enforcement, in some cases citing statistics and research they have personally conducted. They also make the case that most people, regardless of race or economic status, want safe neighborhoods and cities and explain why the defund movement is not popular among them.

Recorded on May 13, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.

Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, and Robert Woodson Debunk Myths about the Black Experience in America

Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, and Robert Woodson Debunk Myths about the Black Experience in America

July 25, 2022

If there were a Mount Rushmore of American Black intellectuals, the three guests on this show would certainly be on it: Glenn Loury is a professor of the social sciences in the Department of economics at Brown, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the host of his wildly successful podcast, The Glenn Show. Ian Rowe is the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies and the author of the new book Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power. Robert Woodson is the founder of the Woodson Center, an organization devoted to “empowering community-based leaders to promote solutions that reduce crime and violence, restore families, revitalize underserved communities, and assist in the creation of economic enterprise.” In this wide-ranging conversation, the three men debunk The 1619 Project, advocate for the restoration of the Black family and the Black church, describe their own very different upbringings and formative experiences, and discuss the many reasons why they are optimistic about the future of Black Americans, despite the narrative commonly expressed in the media.

Recorded on May 13, 2022, at the Old Parkland Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Nationalize or Not?: Matthew Continetti and Chris DeMuth Debate the Future of Conservatism

Nationalize or Not?: Matthew Continetti and Chris DeMuth Debate the Future of Conservatism

July 12, 2022

Matthew Continetti is the author of the new book The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism, an extensively researched and reported history of the conservative movement in America. Chris DeMuth is a former president of the American Enterprise Institute and currently a fellow at the Hudson Institute. In this conversation, DeMuth states that national conservatives (or “NatCons”) “are conservatives who have been mugged by reality. We have come away with a sense of how to recover from the horrors taking America down.” Continetti counters —in a typically conservative argument— that there is no need for NatCons to break away from the traditional movement, since they’re all in the same boat and agree on most of the important issues of the day. The elephant in the room in this debate is former president Donald Trump. What he says and does in the next year or two will be crucial toward determining the future direction of the conservative movement. Continetti and DeMuth agree on that.

Recorded on May 14, 2022

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. 

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