David Hackett Fischer

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David Hackett Fischer
Born (1935-12-02) December 2, 1935 (age 82)
Occupation Professor
Nationality United States
Genre History
Notable works Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History); Albion's Seed

David Hackett Fischer (born December 2, 1935) is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. Fischer's major works have covered topics ranging from large macroeconomic and cultural trends (Albion's Seed, The Great Wave) to narrative histories of significant events (Paul Revere's Ride, Washington's Crossing) to explorations of historiography (Historians' Fallacies, in which he coined the term "historian's fallacy").


Fischer grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1962.[1]


Fischer has been on the faculty of Brandeis University for 50 years, where he is known for being interested in his students and history.[2]

He is best known for two major works: Albion's Seed (1989), and Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) (2004). In Albion's Seed, he argues that core aspects of American culture stem from four British folkways and regional cultures and that their interaction and conflict have been decisive factors in U.S. political and historical development. In Washington's Crossing, Fischer provides a narrative of George Washington's leadership of the Continental Army during the winter of 1776–1777 during the American Revolutionary War.

He was admitted as an honorary member of The Society of the Cincinnati in 2006. He is a member of the board of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.


Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) (2004) won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for History[3] and was a 2004 finalist for the National Book Award in the Nonfiction category.[4]

He received the 2006 Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute.[5]

In 2008, he published Champlain's Dream, an exploration of Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer and founder of Quebec City. The book was a runner-up in the 2009 Cundill Prize.[6]

In 2015, Fischer was named the recipient of the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.[1][7]

In addition to these literary awards, he has been recognized for his commitment to teaching with the 1990 Carnegie Prize as Massachusetts Professor of the Year and the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching.[1]

Selected works

External video
Booknotes interview with Fischer on Paul Revere's Ride, July 17, 1994, C-SPAN
Presentation by Fischer on Champlain's Dream at the New York Historical Society, October 23, 2008, C-SPAN
Presentation by Fischer on Washington's Crossing, February 26, 2004, C-SPAN


  1. ^ a b c "David Hackett Fischer". pritzkermilitary.org. 
  2. ^ "Historian David Hackett Fischer Marks 50 Years at Brandeis - Brandeis Magazine". Brandeis Magazine. 
  3. ^ "David Hackett Fischer Receives Pulitzer Prize". historians.org. 
  4. ^ "David Hackett Fischer, 2004 National Book Award Finalist: Nonfiction, National Book Foundation". nationalbook.org. 
  5. ^ "David Hackett Fischer to Receive 2006 Irving Kristol Award". AEI. 
  6. ^ "2009 Short List - Cundill Prize in History". cundillprize.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Brandeis professor Fischer wins $100,000 Pritzker Award". BostonGlobe.com. 

External links

  • A review of David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies : Toward a Logic of Historical Thought
  • Brandeis University History Department Faculty Page
  • David Hackett Fischer, biographical sketch at Brandeis Magazine
  • They Didn't Name That Lake for Nothing, Sunday Book Review, The New York Times, Oct. 31, 2008
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • In Depth interview with Fischer November 7, 2004
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