Noah Webster, The Father of Public Health Research

Webster was more than a compiler of words.   He also was a fervent number-cruncher who authored the world’s first scientific survey.   Here’s a recent story that I wrote for The Daily: http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/04/12/041211-opinions-history-yellow-fever-kendall-1-3/

My Nation Story on WC Minor’s Career as an American Lexicographer

http://www.thenation.com/article/159277/minor-exception WC Minor, the “madman” of Simon Winchester’s compelling narrative about the making of the OED, was no amateur lexciographer, as historians have long assumed.   Three days before the start of the Civil War, he signed a contact to work on a major revision of Webster’s American Dictionary.  And as I show, based on my archival research […]

The 1864 Edition of Webster’s — The 19th Century’s Best English Dictionary

In a recent story for the Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine, I discuss the making of this landmark dictionary — the first major revision of Webster’s after Noah Webster’s death.   http://magazine.jhu.edu/2011/02/redefining-websters/

Noah Webster and “the Madman”

In my Psychology Today Blog, I have recently discussed the career of James Gates Percival, the brilliant, but disturbed poet who was Webster’s lone assistant on the dictionary.  Percival bears a striking resemblance to William Chester Minor, the American-born lexicographer who helped James Murray on the OED. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-biography

Poets and Their Passion For Lexicographers


My “American Language Book Tour” — Following in Noah Webster’s Footsteps

My “American Language Book Tour,” which starts next week, is inspired by America’s first book tour — the one taken by Noah Webster in 1785-1786 to promote his speller.   Webster went up and down America, going from Portsmouth, NH to Savannah, GA.    As I explain in Chapter 4 of my book, “Counting His Way Across America,” in […]

My Boston Globe Review of a New Book on Celebrity


Psychology Today Blog

Here’s the first post of my PT blog, “Adventures in Biography.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-biography

The Spelling Bee

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704875604575280822341418854.html The Wall St. Journal recently published an article Noah Webster’ s role as the father of the modern spelling bee