Baseball is set apart from other sports by many things, but few are more distinctive than the intricate systems of coded language that govern action on the field and give baseball its unique appeal. During a nine-inning game, more than 1,000 silent instructions are given-from catcher to pitcher, coach to batter, fielder to fielder, umpire to umpire-and without this speechless communication the game would simply not be the same. Baseball... more...

Americans weren’t supposed to drink during Prohibition—but that’s exactly when “cocktail culture” came roaring to life. The Bloody Mary, sleek cocktail shakers, craft mixology, and hundreds of other essentials of modern drinking owe their origins to the Dry Years.   In Contraband Cocktails, Paul Dickson leads us on a fascinating tour of those years—from the “Man in the Green Hat” making secret deliveries to Capitol Hill, to The... more...

This new, vastly expanded and enriched version of The Official Rules presents precisely 5,427 laws, principles, rules, proverbs, and aphorisms collected by Paul Dickson and the esteemed Fellows of the Murphy Center for the Codification of Human and Organizational Law. This often amusing, sometimes profound, collection of "official rules" was gathered one rule at a time over more than forty years from pundits, prophets, and everyday... more...

The launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 ushered in an exciting era of scientific and technological advancement. As television news anchors, radio hosts, and journalists reported the happenings of the American and the Soviet space programs to millions of captivated citizens, words that belonged to the worlds of science, aviation, and science fiction suddenly became part of the colloquial language. What’s more, NASA used a litany of acronyms... more...

Paul Dickson's Rising to the Occasion is the ideal pocket reference for any moment when one might need to raise a glass. Organized by category, it contains sayings famous and profound, suitable and sentimental, created by the likes of Groucho Marx, Mark Twain, and Willard Scott alongside equally engaging anonymous toasts. Covering births, weddings, graduations, holidays, and many other events both major and minor, Paul Dickson also... more...

“Helpful to anyone who ever expects to be called on to give a toast.”—Library JournalFor nearly thirty years, Paul Dickson’s Toasts has been the perfect reference for any occasion where one needs to raise a glass. Organized by category, it contains sayings famous and profound, suitable and sentimental. Covering births, weddings, graduations, and other events both major and minor, Dickson also provides a history... more...

In the summer of 1932, at the height of the Depression, some forty-five thousand World War I veterans--whites and blacks together--descended on Washington D.C., from all over the country to demand the bonus promised them eight years earlier for their wartime service. Fearing violence after the Senate defeated the "bonus bill," Herbert Hoover's Army Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, led tanks through... more...