While becoming a writer, Bruce Watson worked as a factory hand, journalist, bartender, office temp, Peace Corps volunteer, and an elementary school teacher.
As a frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Watson wrote about eels, the history of Coney Island, Ferraris, Jack London, and the vagaries of pi (π). He has also written for The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, American Heritage, Newsweek, Yankee, Nautilus, Sky and Telescope, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003.
Watson’s Bread and Roses - Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream (Viking 2005), was the first full-length narrative of the notorious "Bread and Roses" textile strike of 1912. The New York Times called Bread and Roses "fast paced, well researched. . . an exciting read." The New York Public Library chose Bread and Roses as one of "25 Books to Remember for 2005." Sacco and Vanzetti (Viking 2007) was nominated for a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for True Fact Crime. Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Watson holds a Master’s Degree in American history from the University of Massachusetts and lives with his wife in Western Massachusetts where he is still having fun with light.