Mark Bielski is an historian, author, and the Director at Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours. He is also the host of History with Mark Bielski, a podcast where he discusses history from ancient to modern times with experts in their field, with special attention to the Civil War and WWII. He leaves the textbooks behind and delves into the characters, backstories and often the intrigues that drove events throughout history.
Mark’s career has involved academics, history and literature, journalism and publication writing as well as corporate management. As the director at Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, he is involved in business and educational development, historical guiding, lecturing and itinerary design for tours that primarily involve World War II in Europe and the American Civil War. The privileges and pleasures of Mark’s work are having the opportunity to interview and travel with numerous veterans and their families from WWII, Viet Nam and other conflicts.
Mark’s new book, A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy: The Fall of New Orleans, 1862, has just been released. It is the latest in the Emerging Civil War Series by publisher Savas Beatie. As noted in a review of A Mortal Blow by Civil War Books and Authors, “As both a popular first-line approach to the topic as well as a solid historical summary for readers of all backgrounds to consider, Mark Bielski’s A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy is highly recommended reading for those seeking modern answers to the many how and why questions attached to Union triumph and Confederate failure in the critical New Orleans campaign of 1862.”
His first book, Sons of the White Eagle in the American Civil War: Divided Poles in a Divided Nation, was published by Casemate and recently released in hardback. This book combines his center of historical interest, the American Civil War, with a curiosity about Polish history, long a source of intrigue as a descendent of Polish immigrants. While leading a tour in Poland, he struck up a conversation with a colleague about the extent of Polish involvement in that conflict. The later discovery of written accounts on Poles in America provided the impetus for this fascinating book on a little known part of American history. As Mark says, “It was amazing to find a core of interesting players from Poland fighting on either side during the American Civil War. That in many ways sprang from the turmoil and revolutionary times in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century.”
As Stuart McClung of the New York Journal of Books says in his lengthy review of Sons of the White Eagle, “The historiography of this unfortunate period of American history has certainly been enhanced by Mark Bielski. The research is impressive…” (Read more reviews.)
He is currently working on a third book about Stonewall Jackson. This fictional account of the circumstances surrounding Jackson’s death has intrigued him for a long time.
Mark’s media experience ranges from interviews with Tammy Bruce and a discussion with Tom Brokaw at the Churchill War Rooms in London, to writing for civilwar.com and presentations at symposia, to being an editor of a magazine. He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Society for Military History and the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
He received his Ph.D. in History at the University of Birmingham, England as well as an M.A. and B.A. in English from Georgetown University and Tulane University respectively.
Mark lives in New Orleans, where he enjoys the city’s culinary, cultural and musical riches on a daily basis.