Robert Jan Mrazek (born November 6, 1945) is an American author, filmmaker, and former politician. He served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing New York’s 3rd congressional district on Long Island for most of the 1980s.
Since leaving Congress, Mrazek has authored eleven books, earning the American Library Association’s top honor for military fiction, the Michael Shaara award for Civil War fiction, and Best Book (American History) from the Washington Post. He also wrote and co-directed the 2016 feature film The Congressman, which received the Breakout Achievement Award at the AARP’s Film Awards in 2017.
Books in order of publication:
- Stonewall’s Gold was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1999. It won the 1999 Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction.
- Unholy Fire, Mrazek’s second Civil War novel, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2003.
- The Deadly Embrace was Mrazek’s third novel, a World War II murder/mystery published by Viking Press in 2006. In 2007, The Deadly Embrace earned the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association as the best military fiction of 2006.
- A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight, Mrazek’s first non-fiction work, was published by Little, Brown & Co., in 2008. A Dawn Like Thunder was named as a “Best Book of 2009 (American History)” by the Washington Post.
- The Art Pottery of Joseph Mrazek: A Collector’s Guide, was published by Wingspan Press in 2009, and tells the story of Mrazek’s grandfather, the noted painter, inventor, and maker of hand-painted Czech pottery between the two world wars.
- To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany, published by NAL-Penguin in 2011, is an account of the ill-fated bombing mission of the American Air Force “Flying Fortress” team sent to raid Stuttgart in September, 1943. It was chosen as a main selection of the Military and History Book Club.
- Valhalla, a contemporary thriller involving the discovery of an ancient Viking ship and its crew beneath the Greenland Ice Cap, was published by Penguin/Random House in 2014.
- The Bone Hunters, the sequel to Valhalla, also published by Penguin/Random House in 2014, tells the story of the search for the legendary fossil, Peking Man, which disappeared during the Japanese occupation of Peking in December, 1941, and has never been found.
- And the Sparrow Fell, published by Cornell University Press in 2017, is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.
- Dead Man’s Bridge: A Jake Cantrell Mystery, published by Crooked Lane Books on August 8th, 2017, is the first installment of the Jake Cantrell mystery series.
- The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs, published by Hachette Books on July 21, 2020, tells the story of an unsung World War II heroine who saved countless American lives in the Philippines.