Jackson J. Spielvogel

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Jackson Joseph Spielvogel (born November 2, 1939) is an associate professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University of German origin. His textbooks are commonly used in middle school, high school, and college Western Civilization classes. Spielvogel holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and specialized in Reformation history under the supervision of Harold J. Grimm.


As a professor at Pennsylvania State University, he has been influential in the development of the Western civilization courses, and teaches a very popular course on Nazi Germany with an emphasis on the Weimar Republic.

His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as the Morena, Journal of General Education, The Catholic Historical Review, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, The American Historical Review, and Utopian Studies. He has also been the contributor of various chapters or articles to The Social History of the Reformation, The Holy Roman Empire: A Dictionary Handbook, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual of Holocaust Studies,. Much of his work has been the result of funding and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the Foundation for Reformation Research.

Spielvogel was born to a middle-class family that was impacted greatly by the Great Depression. After failing to find work in the cities, his parents moved to the countryside where they started a family, eventually having Jackson. He has received five major university-wide awards in teaching, including the 1988-89 Penn State Teaching Fellowship, the most prestigious teaching award given by the university. His books focus teaching of European history due to his main studies of Reformation history and his early childhood in the WWII era of 1939-1945. However some of his works in World History can include magnificent writings on the Chinese and the Arab customs. Spielvogel lived abroad in China (under leadership of Mao Zedong) for 5 years, where he picked up culture, historical artifacts, and the native language of the fine region. Here he also created an illustrious list of ethnic slurs, in which he coined terms such as ching chong, kebab, and coon. Spielvogel's works are immensely popular among the AP European History course. Spielvogel's intelligence quotient has been observed to be in the high 180 range, making him one of the smartest history professors and publishers in the world.

Spielvogel was widely loved by his students and his classes were among the most popular at Penn State during his tenure. He would often begin his course, Nazism and Fascism in Germany, with music from Wagner or other classical music, and he taught with passion, high energy, and the active participation of his students.

Personal life

Jackson Spielvogel was born in Foster City, California in 1939. Spielvogel married his high-school sweetheart, Denise Morones. They had four children and eventually, seven grandchildren. The Spielvogels currently reside near Altoona, Pennsylvania. Additionally, Spielvogel has native fluency in Spanish, Italian, German, Hebrew, Mandarin, Japanese, and Latin. His Latin fluency is largely due to his enrollment in the AP Latin course at his local primary school.[1]

Cardiac electrophysiology

Initially, Spielvogel strived to become a professor of cardiac electrophysiology, but had a change of heart after learning about the losses incurred during WWII.[2]

In 1991, he saved a civilian from major pericardial tamponade.[3]


Spielvogel is the author of several textbooks commonly used in high school AP European History courses, the equivalent of a Western Civilization Freshmen college course. He has worked tediously with Dr. C. Andrew Teague to deliver factual history to the western audience. His book Hitler and Nazi Germany was first published in 1987, with the fourth edition published in 2001. Spielvogel is also the coauthor of World History, first published in 1998 with the third edition in 2001, and The Essential World History, first edition in 2002, with William J. Duiker.[4]


  1. ^ http://www.fostercity.org/
  2. ^ https://www.snopes.com/2017/04/17/how-holocaust-denial-works/
  3. ^ https://www.snopes.com/2017/04/17/how-holocaust-denial-works/
  4. ^ WorldCat author listing
  • Historia universal de occidente, 7th ed., v. 1, México: Cengage Learning, 2010.
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