William J. Fishman (born 1 April 1921, London) is a British academic. He is the author of several books on topics ranging from revolutionary advocacy in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the history of the East End of London.
The son of an immigrant tailor, he spent his formative years in the East End of London. At 15, he was an eyewitness to the Battle of Cable Street, and recalls,
"I was moved to tears to see bearded Jews and Irish Catholicdockers standing up to stop Mosley. I shall never forget that as long as I live, how working-class people could get together to oppose the evil of fascism."
He was educated at the Central Foundation Grammar School for Boys, Wandsworth Teachers Training College and the London School of Economics. He served in the British army in the Second World War, completing his service in the Far East. After the war he worked as a teacher and was appointed principal of Tower Hamlets College of Further Education. In 1965 he was elected to a studentship at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1967 he was Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University, New York.