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David Hackett Fischer

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David Hackett Fischer
Born (1935-12-02) December 2, 1935 (age 88)
Baltimore, Maryland
Alma materPrinceton University (A.B)
Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D)
Notable works • Washington's Crossing
 • Paul Revere's Ride
 • Albion's Seed
 • Liberty and Freedom
 • The Great Wave

David Hackett Fischer (born December 2, 1935) is University Professor of History Emeritus 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[edit]

External videos
video icon Booknotes interview with Fischer on Paul Revere's Ride, July 17, 1994, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Fischer on Champlain's Dream at the New York Historical Society, October 23, 2008, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Fischer on Washington's Crossing, February 26, 2004, C-SPAN
  • Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought (1970) ISBN 0-06-131545-1
  • The Revolution of American Conservatism: The Federalist Party in the Era of Jeffersonian Democracy (1976) ISBN 0-226-25135-7
  • Growing Old in America (1977) Series: Chester Bland—Dwight E. Lee Lectures in History.
  • Concord: The Social History of a New England Town 1750–1850 (1984) (Editor)
  • Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989) ISBN 0-19-503794-4
  • Paul Revere's Ride (1994), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508847-6
  • The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History (1996) ISBN 0-19-505377-X
  • Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement (2000), with James C. Kelly, University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0-81-391773-5
  • Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) (2004) ISBN 0-19-517034-2
  • Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas (2005) ISBN 0-19-516253-6
  • Champlain's Dream: The European Founding of North America (2008) ISBN 9781416593324
  • Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States (2012) ISBN 9780199832705
  • African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals (2022) ISBN 9781982145095


External links[edit]