Welcome

I am a freelance writer of more than 65 non-fiction books and numerous newspaper and magazine articles on a variety of subjects from ice cream to baseball to slang to jokes to Sputnik and the Bonus Army.

I hope you’ll explore my site to learn more about my work. I’ll update it as necessary, time permitting – which it hasn’t for quite awhile.

Here’s the news since my last update:

First, a little bragging -- I’m delighted to announce that I was awarded the Tony Salin Award from the Baseball Reliquary in 2011. It’s given to honor the recipient’s role in preserving baseball history.

I’m also thrilled to announce that my first biography, Bill Veeck--Baseball's Greatest Maverick, published in 2012, received three awards: the Jerome Holtzman Award from the Chicago Baseball Museum, the Reader’s Choice Award for the best baseball book of 2012 from the Special Libraries Association and the Casey Award from Spitball magazine, also for the best baseball book of 2012. And for some icing on the cake, I am a 2012 recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award which was established in November 2009 by the Society of American Baseball Researchers (SABR) to honor baseball's the chosen researchers “for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.” Baseball has certainly been very, very good to me.

However, more recently, I’ve gone back to one of my other favorite topics -- the English language. My most recent book is Words from the White House—Words and Phrases Popularized by America’s Presidents, published in January of 2013. It got me on the Morning Joe show and NPR’s Weekend Edition among others.

I followed up with Authorisms—Words Wrought by Writers. It was published on April 23, 2014 in honor of that day in 1564 marking the sesquiquadricentennial or 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, now and forever, the greatest neologist of the English language.

I am currently working on a biography of Leo Durocher.


I live in Garrett Park, Maryland with my wife Nancy who works with me.

For a list of all the books I've written, many of which are still available in bookstores, click on "All My Books." Though a lot of the older ones are now out of print, I have extra copies of many of them and would be happy to sell them directly--autographed if you wish. Simply e-mail me for a list of available titles and prices.

Check out the "Events" section for information about other upcoming opportunities to "meet the author" at a book signing or speaking engagement.

My literary agent is Deborah C. Grosvenor of the Grosvenor Literary Agency in Bethesda, MD dcg@​grosvenorlit.com

If you have comments or questions please e-mail me and I'll reply as soon as I can.

Selected Works

LANGUAGE
A dictionary of the secret language of families
The only slang dictionary arranged by topic--now substantially revised and expanded.
In our globally interconnected age, misnaming where someone is from or the cultural group to which they belong often constitutes more than a harmless social gaffe. Labels for Locals provides guidance on the preferred, and sometimes disdained, names for selected locales, cities, regions, countries, and ethnic groups worldwide.
American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War--Recommended by William Safire in his New York Times Magazine "On Language" column.
American History: narrative non-fiction
The all but forgotten but dramatic story of WWI vets from their historic march on Washington in 1932, to demand the bonus promised them for their wartime service, to the passage of the GI Bill which was their lasting legacy.
Baseball
"... an old-fashioned whiz-bang: Dickson's most complicated, most rewarding book yet." -James H. Bready, The Baltimore Sun, July 6, 2003
Baseball fans young and old are certain to enjoy this book. Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
BASEBALL
"That rarest of sports books, a valuable reference work that provides absorbing and enlightening reading." -Sports Illustrated
COLD WAR HISTORY
"Paul Dickson's indefatigable research and reportorial lucidity have given us a fascinating history of the event that forever changed our world." -Walter Cronkite
POPULAR REFERENCE
Special occasion? Need a toast? For ideas and inspiration check it out--over 1500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces.