Peter M. Robinson

Research Fellow

Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's video series program, Uncommon Knowledge™.

Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Regan Books, 2003); It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP, (Warner Books, 2000); and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA (Warner Books, 1994; still available in paperback).

In 1979, he graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. He went on to study politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University, from which he graduated in 1982.

Robinson spent six years in the White House, serving from 1982 to 1983 as chief speechwriter to Vice President George Bush and from 1983 to 1988 as special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. He wrote the historic Berlin Wall address in which President Reagan called on General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

After the White House, Robinson attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. (The journal he kept formed the basis for Snapshots from Hell.) He graduated with an MBA in 1990.

Robinson then spent a year in New York City with Fox Television, reporting to the owner of the company, Rupert Murdoch. He spent a second year in Washington, D.C., with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as the director of the Office of Public Affairs, Policy Evaluation, and Research. Robinson joined the Hoover Institution in 1993.

The author of numerous essays and interviews, Robinson has published in the New York Times, Red Herring, and Forbes ASAP, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review Online. He is the editor of Can Congress Be Fixed?: Five Essays on Congressional Reform (Hoover Institution Press, 1995).

In 2005, Robinson was elected to serve as a Trustee of Dartmouth College.

Robinson lives in northern California with his wife, their children and their dog, Crusoe.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary


Why Nancy Reagan Was The Indispensable Woman

by Peter M. Robinsonvia New York Post
Monday, March 7, 2016

Two tales of Nancy Reagan: The first took place during Ronald Reagan’s 1966 campaign for governor of California. Dana Rohrabacher, now a member of Congress but then just a college kid, slept one night in the backyard of Reagan’s house in Pacific Palisades. At 7 the next morning, the back door swung open and Nancy Reagan appeared.

“Find Your Fit”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Born creators, people are everywhere in creative chains: David Kelley, founder of the Stanford design school, wants to free your inner innovator.

“I Owe the President My Best Military Advice”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2015

General Jim Mattis on what US fighting forces need most: a clear mission and clear goals.

Uncommon Knowledge with Hoover fellows Rick Hanushek and Paul Peterson

Endangering Prosperity

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We’ve known for years that our schools are failing huge numbers of students. Now, Hoover fellows Eric Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson show how they’re failing the nation.

Gary Becker receives Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Markets Are Hard to Appreciate”

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Academic debates will never end, but Gary Becker was convinced of this: Americans don’t want to go backward on economic liberty.

Wolfe at the Door

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tom Wolfe’s latest novel, Back to Blood, is a portrait of present-day culture—sprawling, lurid, hilarious, repellent, compelling: “More than anything else, I just love all these people.” An interview with Peter Robinson.

Ronald Reagan
Analysis and Commentary

A Turn of Phrase

by Peter M. Robinsonvia New Criterion
Thursday, January 2, 2014


"We are Going to Stand on Principle"

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 18, 2013

Senator Rand Paul on libertarianism and the GOP; the Senate; and the Constitution. An interview with PETER ROBINSON.