I'm a freelance writer of more than 55 non-fiction books and countless articles on a wide variety of subjects from toasting to ice cream to baseball to slang to Sputnik. I hope you'll explore the site to find out more about my work. Please keep in mind that it's a work in progress which I'll be updating as necessary.
Here's the latest news:
I am delighted to announce that I was just informed that I'm the recipient of the 2011 Tony Salin Memorial Award by the Baseball Reliquary, a Southern California-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.
The Tony Salin Memorial Award — named in honor of the baseball historian, researcher, and Reliquarian who passed away in 2001 — was established in 2002 to recognize individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history.
I've a new baseball book out called Baseball Is... Defining the National Pastime. There are more than one hundred quotes finishing that sentence from people ranging from Yogi Berra to George Bernard Shaw. It's a perfect gift book as it's only $9.95. Check it out at Amazon.com or wherever books are sold.
I'm currently working on a biography of the iconoclastic and controversial team owner Bill Veeck, tentatively titled: The Life and Good Times of Bill Veeck -- The Man Who Changed Baseball. It is scheduled to be published by Walker Publishing Company in early 2012.
2009 was a very busy year. I had five books come out.
First, I'm delighted to announce that the 3rd edition of The Dickson Baseball Dictionary came out on March 2nd and is now available in bookstores and online. It tops out at 974 pages and 4+ pounds! The first edition came out 25 years ago and each edition has grown in size and scope with the help of many baseball and linguistic experts along the way.
I also have a website just for the dictionary. Check it out for reviews of this edition, an audio interview with me, a sampler of terms and more at www.baseballdictionary.com.
Second, I had another (much smaller) baseball book, entitled The Unwritten Rules of Baseball come out on March 24th.
Third, I wrote a Space Dictionary under contract with NASA which was published by John Hopkins University Press.
Fourth, Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary was published in October by Melville House. This is not a celebration of the state of inebriation but rather of the euphemistic glory of the English language
And last, my book Toasts was brought out in a new, updated edition by Bloomsbury USA in November. I've also got a new website up about toasting. It's Toastsbook.com and tells you all you need to know about the history of toasting, what makes a good toast and how and when to make one. It also gives lots of examples by occasion. Click the link on the left and take a look and click the link on the right for information about my the book.
In more book news:
My co-author, Douglas Evelyn, and I have a newly revised edition of On This Spot: Pinpointing the Past in Washington, DC out which is available on Amazon and other bookstores as well. I was on the Kojo Nambi show just before the inauguration to discuss the book and the history of many "spots" in Washington,DC.
A new edition of Sputnik: The Shock of the Century will be published by Walker & Company, 2011.
Walker & Company has also republished The Joy of Keeping Score, in a good looking new cover with a new introduction by Tim Kirkjian of ESPN.
If you want to be hip and "in the know" check out an updated and expanded version of my book, Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms, also published by Walker & Company, now available in bookstores.
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 Grosvenor (firstname.lastname@example.org). She is in Washington, DC but is with the KNEERIM and WILLIAMS Agency in Boston, MA.
If you have comments or questions please e-mail me and I'll reply as soon as I can.
A dictionary of the secret language of families
Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms
The only slang dictionary arranged by topic--now substantially revised and expanded.
Labels For Locals
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 Bonus Army: An American Epic
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.
The Hidden Language of Baseball -- How Signs and Sign-Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime --
"... an old-fashioned whiz-bang: Dickson's most complicated, most rewarding book yet." -James H. Bready, The Baltimore Sun, July 6, 2003
The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball
Baseball fans young and old are certain to enjoy this book. Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Third Edition
"That rarest of sports books, a valuable reference work that provides absorbing and enlightening reading." -Sports Illustrated
COLD WAR HISTORY
Sputnik: The Shock of the Century
"Paul Dickson's indefatigable research and reportorial lucidity have given us a fascinating history of the event that forever changed our world." -Walter Cronkite
Special occasion? Need a toast? For ideas and inspiration check it out--over 1500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces.