Historian, essayist, speechwriter, humourist, anti-cant crusader; Don Watson has a gift for luring us to the nub of a matter, or at least to a new view of it, there to grin or grind our teeth at the spectacle. Over the years Don Watson has written on politics and politicians in Australia and the USA, sport, nature, history, culture, crimes against speech, and military commemorations. Sometimes he writes in celebration of a moment or a creature of beauty; at other times, because something or someone gets on his goat - or up it, as young folk say these days. At the heart of all of his work is the belief that, more than just about anything else - more even than free markets or lifestyle choices - in a civilized society words matter.
Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart- Paul Keating Prime Minister, won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year. His Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome- Australia and America won the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize. Death Sentence, his best-selling book about the decay of public language won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year. Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words was also a bestseller. American Journeys won the Age Non-Fiction and Book of the Year Awards. It also won the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction.