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Union University Dept of History

Department News

Pulitzer Prize-winning Author to Serve as Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lecturer on October 29

Sep 11, 2009 - Dr. David Hackett Fischer, Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University and the 2005 Pulitzer Prize Winner in History, will serve as the 2009 Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lecture Series speaker at Union University on Thursday, October 29, 2009. His main lecture will be on “Leaders in an Open Society: The Presidencies of Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Barack Obama” at 7:15 p.m. in Union’s G. M. Savage Memorial Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public. Professor Fischer will also speak to the Union University community in Harvey Auditorium at 1:40 p.m. on “A Great French Leader in the New World: Samuel de Champlain among the American Indians.”

Professor Fischer is the author of ten highly acclaimed books, including Washington’s Crossing for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2005. Another of Dr. Fischer’s prize-winning books is Paul Revere’s Ride which first appeared in 1993: it was featured as a History Book Club Main Selection in 2005, and in 1996 it won an Irving Medal for Literary Distinction, an Old North Church Lantern Award, and a Boston Public Library Literary Light Award. Prior to these recognitions, Professor Fischer won the Theodore Saloutos Book Award in Immigration History for his book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989). His other books are: Champlain’s Dream (2008); Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas (2005); Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement (2000); The Great Wave: Price Revolution and the Rhythm of History (1996); Growing Old in America (1977); Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought (1970); and The Revolution of American Conservatism: The Federalist Party in the Era of Jeffersonian Democracy (1965).

As a teacher, too, Professor Fischer has had notable success. In 1997, he won the Massachusetts Teachers Association Kidger Prize for Teaching. And he has won both the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) and Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year Award for Massachusetts. Brandeis students have used words such as “fantastic,” “amazing,” and “the best professor at Brandeis” to describe him as a classroom teacher.

Recognitions for Dr. Fischer have also come in other ways. He received the Irving Kristol Prize from the American Enterprise Institute in 2006, and was named an honorary life member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the same year. In 1996, he won the Ingersoll Foundation’s Richard M. Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters to “recognize an author of abiding importance.” Finally, he was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and a life member of the Bodleian Library in 1993.

Professor Fischer earned his B.A. in history at Princeton University (1958) and his Ph.D. at The Johns Hopkins University (1962). He has served on the faculty of Brandeis University since 1962. In addition, he has taught as a visiting professor at Oxford University, Harvard University, the University of Washington in Seattle, and several schools in New Zealand.

Previous Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lectureship speakers have included Dr. Gerhard Weinberg of the University of North Carolina, Dr. Martin Marty of the University of Chicago, Dr. Jay Winter of Yale University, Dr. Charles Maier of Harvard University, Dr. Gordon S. Wood of Brown University, Dr. Edward Ayers of the University of Richmond, and Dr. Jeremy Black of Exeter University in the United Kingdom.