John Fiske

John Fiske, 1842–1901, American philosopher and historian, b. Hartford, Conn. Born Edmund Fisk Green, he changed his name in 1855 to John Fisk, adding the final e in 1860. He opened a law practice in Boston but soon turned to writing. A wide reader, he had been an enthusiastic follower of Herbert Spencer while in college, and the first part of his life was given mainly to popularizing Spencerian evolution. He tried to reconcile orthodox religious beliefs with science, both on the lecture platform and in such books as Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy (1874, repr. 1969), Darwinism and Other Essays (1879, repr. 1913), Excursions of an Evolutionist (1884), The Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge (1886), and Through Nature to God (1899). Early in his career Fiske also achieved popularity as a lecturer on history and in his later life was occupied mostly with that field. His historical writings include The Critical Period of American History, 1783–1789 (1888), The Beginnings of New England (1889), The American Revolution (1891), The Discovery of America (1892), Old Virginia and Her Neighbors (1897), Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America (1899), The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War (1900), and New France and New England (1902). These books were popular accounts based largely on secondary authorities and noted for an easy, lucid, and dramatic style.

See The Letters of John Fiske (ed. by his daughter, Ethel F. Fisk, 1940).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

John Fiske: Selected full-text books and articles

The Religious Faith of John Fiske
H. Pannill Burnell.
Duke University Press, 1957
FREE! The Life and Letters of John Fiske
John Spencer Clark.
Houghton Mifflin Company, vol.1, 1917
The Letters of John Fiske
John Fiske; Ethel F. Fisk.
Macmillan Co., 1940
FREE! Darwinism and Other Essays: By John Fiske
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1900 (Revised edition)
FREE! Through Nature to God
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1899
FREE! Life Everlasting
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1901
FREE! The Unseen World, and Other Essays
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1904
FREE! The Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin, 1900
FREE! The American Revolution
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin, vol.1, 1891 (4th edition)
FREE! Essays, Historical, and Literary
John Fiske.
The Macmillan Company, vol.2, 1902
Philosophy in America from the Puritans to James
Paul Russell Anderson; Max Harold Fisch.
D. Appleton-Century, 1939
Garrulities of an Octogenarian Editor: With Other Essays Somewhat Biographical and Autobiographical
Henry Holt.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIX "John Fiske"
The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past
Harvey Wish.
Oxford University Press, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "From Fiske to Gipson: the Rise of Colonial Institutional History"
FREE! Myths and Myth-Makers: Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology
John Fiske.
Houghton, Mifflin, 1901
FREE! American Political Ideas Viewed from the Standpoint of Universal History: Three Lectures Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in May, 1880
John Fiske.
Harper & Bros., 1885
FREE! The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789
John Fiske.
Houghton Mifflin, 1897
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