I grew up near the coasts of New York and Connecticut, and since an early age I was fascinated by the natural world, especially the ocean. I spent many days wandering the beaches on the edge of Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, collecting seashells and exploring tidepools. When I left for college I wanted to become a marine biologist or more specifically a malacologist (seashell scientist). At Brown University I quickly realized that although I loved learning about science, I wasn't cut out for a career in science, mainly because I wasn't very good in the lab, and I didn't particularly enjoy reading or writing scientific research papers. So, after taking a year off and exploring a range of career options, I shifted course turning toward the field of environmental policy, first earning a double-major in biology and environmental studies, then getting a masters degree in environmental management from Yale, and a Ph.D. in environmental policy and planning from MIT, where my dissertation focused on the role of the courts in the cleanup of Boston Harbor.
I have held a variety of jobs, including stints as a fisheries policy analyst at the National Marine Fisheries Service, a program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an environmental consultant stateside and in London, an American Association for the Advancement of Science writing fellow at Business Week, a curatorial assistant in the Mollusk Department at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, and an intern at the National Wildlife Federation, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, and the U.S. Senate. In 2007, I became a fulltime writer, which is by far the most challenging and rewarding job I have ever had.
I have always enjoyed writing and telling stories, and that's why I started writing books--to share the stories that I find most intriguing (I have also published more than 60 articles for magazines, newspapers, and professional journals). My most recent book is BRILLIANT BEACONS: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN LIGHTHOUSE, which was chosen by gCaptain and Classic Boat as one of the best nautical books of 2016. My last book, WHEN AMERICA FIRST MET CHINA: AN EXOTIC TALE OF TEA, DRUGS, AND MONEY IN THE AGE OF SAIL (Liveright, 2012), was the winner for history, in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards; received a Gold Medal, History, in the Independent Publisher Book Awards; and was chosen as a Highly Recommended Book by the Boston Authors Club, and as a finalist for the New England Society Book Award. The book before that, FUR, FORTUNE, AND EMPIRE: THE EPIC HISTORY OF THE FUR TRADE IN AMERICA (W. W. Norton, 2010), a national bestseller, was chosen by New West, The Seattle Times, and The Rocky Mountain Land Library as one of the top non-fiction books of 2010. It also won the 2011 James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England Historical Association, and was awarded first place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Excellence in Craft Contest. LEVIATHAN: THE HISTORY OF WHALING IN AMERICA (W. W. Norton, 2007), was selected as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Providence Journal. LEVIATHAN was also chosen by Amazon.com's editors as one of the 10 best history books of 2007. LEVIATHAN garnered the the 23rd annual (2007) L. Byrne Waterman Award, given by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, for outstanding contributions to whaling research and history. LEVIATHAN also received the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, given by the North American Society for Oceanic History, was named an Honors Book in nonfiction for the 8th annual Massachusetts Book Awards (2008-2009), and was awarded a silver medal for history in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (2008).
I am also a Switzer Environmental Fellow, a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows, and a Nantucket Historical Society Research Fellow, and I was awarded a special commendation from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for "Contributing to the Award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC."
My newest book is BLACK FLAGS, BLUE WATERS: THE EPIC HISTORY OF AMERICA'S MOST NOTORIOUS PIRATES, which will be published on September 18, 2018.
If you want to learn more about my books, please visit my website, www.ericjaydolin.com, my professional author facebook page at @EricJayDolin, or my Twitter page t @EricJayDolin. Thanks for reading!
Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines....
Regular price: $31.49
From the bestselling author of Leviathan comes this sweeping narrative of one of America’s most historically rich industries....
Regular price: $23.07
This absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling....
Regular price: $27.99
Ancient China collides with newfangled America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships....
Regular price: $24.95