Jackson Joseph Spielvogel is an associate professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. His textbooks are commonly used in middle school, high school, and college courses on Western civilization. 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 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.
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.
Jackson Spielvogel was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania in 1939. He married his high school sweetheart Mary Diane Laughlin in 1964. They have four children and seven grandchildren and currently reside in State College, Pennsylvania.
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. 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.