Paul Dickson Biography

My book The Bonus Army: An American Epic, written with Thomas B. Allen,was published by Walker and Co on February 1, 2005. It tells the dramatic but largely forgotten story of the approximately 45,000 World War I veterans who marched on Washington in the summer of 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, to demand early payment of a bonus promised them for their wartime service and of how that march eventually changed the course of American history and led to passage of the GI Bill-- the lasting legacy of the Bonus Army. A documentary based on the book aired on PBS stations in May 2006 and an option for a feature film based on the book has been sold.

My most recent baseball book, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball came out in March 2009. It follows other works of baseball reference including The Hidden Language of Baseball: How Signs and Sign Stealing Have Influenced the Course of our National Pastime, The Joy of Keeping Score, Baseball’s Greatest Quotations--which came out in a new and expanded edition in 2007, Baseball the President’s Game and The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, now in it's third edition. Updated and expanded, this edition also came out in March 2009. The original Dickson Baseball Dictionary was awarded the 1989 Macmillan-SABR Award for Baseball Research.
Sputnik: the Shock of the Century, another Walker book, came out in October, 2001 and was subsequently issued in paperback by Berkeley Books. Like his first book, Think Tanks (1971), Sputnik was born of his first love—investigative journalism. Dickson co-wrote a feature documentary based on his book with acclaimed documentarian David Hoffman.
Two of my older language books, Slang and Label For Locals came out in the fall of 2006 in new and expanded versions.


I'm a founding member and former president of Washington Independent Writers and a member of the National Press Club. I'm also a consulting editor for Dover Publications, Inc and a contributing editor for Washingtonian magazine.


I live in Garrett Park, Maryland with my wife Nancy who works with me as my first line editor, and financial manager.


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
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