William T. Smaldone

William T. Smaldone

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, and the Holocaust.


  • 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

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.  His newest work, European Socialism: A Concise History, appeared in the fall of 2013.  With Mark Blum of the University of Kentucky, Louisville, he is now editing a two-volume collection of documents on Austro-Marxism, an important current of central European socialist thought in the first half of the twentieth century.

Current Courses

HIST 116 - Western Civilization Since 1650
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 372 - Modern Russia
HIST 390 - Germany From Bismarck to Hitler
HIST 391 - Germany since 1945
HIST 440 - History of European Socialism
HIST 442 - The Holocaust

Selected Publications


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

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

European Socialism: A Concise History With Documents (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)


"Can Capitalism Lead to Peace? Revisiting Hilferding's Theory of 'Realist 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.