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William Smaldone

E. J. Whipple Professor of History; Department Chair

Headshot of William Smaldone

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Eaton 116
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-370-6944 (Fax)


Bill Smaldone came to Willamette's History Department in 1991. In addition to general surveys in modern European history, he offers courses on German and Russian history, Latin American history, urban history, the Holocaust, European socialism, and capitalism.


  • B.S. State University of New York College at Brockport
  • M.A. State University of New York College at Brockport
  • Ph.D. State University of New York at Binghamton

Office Hours

Monday 9:30-11:00 
Thursday 1:00-2:30
or by appointment 


Teaching Schedule

History 131W The Holocaust  
History 378 The Rise of Capitalism 
IDS 101-31 Revolution as a Vocation


Research and Teaching

Professor Smaldone's research focuses on twentieth century German and European labor history. His Rudolf Hilferding: The Tragedy of a German Social Democrat (1998) examines the life of one of German Social Democracy's leading economic and political thinkers from the turn of the century until the collapse of the Weimar Republic in 1933. His second book, Confronting Hitler: German Social Democrats in Defense of the Weimar Republic, 1929-1933 (2009), treats the failure of Germany's Social Democratic leadership in its struggle against Adolf Hitler's National Socialist movement.  In 2013 he published European Socialism: A Concise History. More recently, with Mark Blum of the University of Kentucky, Louisville, he has published Austro-Marxism: The Ideology of Unity, a two-volume collection of documents on one of twentieth century European socialism's most important intellectual currents. He is now translating and editing Rudolf Hilferding's correspondence with Karl Kautsky, Leon Trotsky, and Paul Hertz.   

Current Courses

HIST 116 - Western Civilization Since 1650
HIST 131 – The Holocaust
HIST 254 - Twentieth Century Europe
HIST 255 - Cities and the Making of Modern Europe
HIST 258 - Modern Latin America
HIST 306 - History Through Biography
HIST 343 – The Bolshevik Revolution
HIST 372 - Modern Russia
HIST 378-  The Rise of Capitalism
HIST 390 - Germany From Bismarck to Hitler
HIST 391 - Germany since 1945
HIST 440 - History of European Socialism

Selected Publications


European Socialism: A Concise History with Documents (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2nd ed., 2019)

Austro-Marxism: The Ideology of Unity. Changing the World: The Politics of Austro-Marxism, Volume II (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2017)

Austro-Marxism: The Ideology of Unity. Austro Marxist Theory and Strategy, Volume I (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2016)

Confronting Hitler: German Social Democrats in Defense of the Weimar Republic, 1929-1933 (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009)

Rudolf Hilferding: The Tragedy of a German Social Democrat (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1998)


"For Rudolf Hilferding, Socialism was About Freedom," Jacobin (October 12, 2020, online edition)

“Marie Juchacz and Toni Sender: Socialism, Women’s Emancipation, and Weimar Politics,” in Jennifer V. Evans and Shelly E. Rose, eds., Gender in Global Contexts: Labor, Law, and Human Rights (forthcoming with Berghahn Books) 

“Between Reform and Revolution: The Politics of Austro Marxism,” Jacobin (March 23, 2018, online edition)

"The Shattering of European Socialism: August 1914 and World War I," Against the Current 173 (September/October, 2014): 20-25

"Can Capitalism Lead to Peace? Revisiting Hilferding's Theory of 'Realistic Pacifism,'" Radical Philosophy Review 15, 1 (2012): 203-218.

"Thinking about Equality" a review essay of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger and Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land in Against the Current 53 (July/August 2011): 37-39.

"Rudolf Hilferding, 'Organisierter Kapitalismus' und die Politik der Weimarer Sozialdemokratie." In Chaloupek, Günther, Kurz. Heinz D., and Smaldone, William, eds., Die Ökonomik der Arbeiterbewegung zwischen den Weltkriegen, Bd. 5 (Leykam Buchverlag: Vienna, 2011): 51-70.

"Germany's Election: The Rise of the Left Party and Beyond," Against the Current 144, (January/February 2010): 11-12, 32.

"Socialist Paths in a Capitalist Conundrum: Reconsidering the German Catastrophe of 1933," Journal of World History 18, 3 (2007): 297-323.

"Running in Place: German Social Democracy in the Great Coalition," Against the Current 128 (May/June 2007): 27-30.

"The Crisis in German Social Democracy," Against the Current 112 (Sept/Oct 2004): 26-30.

"Acting Locally' in the Age of Globalization," Socialism and Democracy 17, 2 (Summer-Fall, 2003): 217-233.

"Friedrich Stampfer and the Fall of the Weimar Republic," The Historian 64, 3 & 4 (Spring and Summer, 2002): 687-703.

"Rudolf Hilferding: A Socialist Odyssey," Against the Current 75 (July-August 1998): 21-26.

"Observations on the Cuban Revolution," Monthly Review 47, 10 (April, 1996): 20-32.

"Rudolf Hilferding and the Total State," The Historian 57, 1 (Fall, 1994): 97-112.

"Rudolf Hilferding and the Theoretical Foundations of German Social Democracy: 1902-1933," Central European History 21, 3 (Sept., 1988): 267-299.

Willamette University

History Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6061 voice
503-370-6944 fax