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Timothy Wright Mason (March 2 1940–March 5 1990) was a British Marxist historian of Nazi Germany. He was born in Birkenhead, the child of school-teachers and was educated at Oxford University. He taught at Oxford from 1971–1985 and was twice married. He helped to found the left-wing journal History Workshop Journal. Mason specialized in the social history of the Third Reich, especically that of the working-class. Mason's most famous book was his 1975 work Arbeiterklass und Volksgemeinschaft (The Working Class and the National Community), a study of working-class life under the Nazis and his 1977 book, Sozialpolitik im Dritten Reich (Social Policy in the Third Reich). Ironcially, for a British historian, most of his books were orginally published in German first.
Mason's most notable arguements were that the German working-class was always opposed to the Nazi dictorship; that in the over-heated German economy of the late 1930s, German workers could force employers to grant higher wages by leaving for another firm that would grant the desired wage increases; that was an form of political resistence and this resistence forced Hitler to go to war in 1939. Thus, the outbreak of the Second World War was caused by structural economic problems. Mason's theory of an "Flight into war" being imposed on Hitler generated much controversy, and in the 1980s he conducted an series of debates with economic historian Richard Overy over this matter. Overy maintained the decision to attack Poland was not caused by structural economic problems, but rather was the result of Hitler wanting an war at that particular time in history.
In 1985, Mason decided the government of Margaret Thatcher was the harbringer of fascism, advised trade union leaders to start making preparations to go underground, and moved to Italy. He died in Rome.
- "Some Origins of the Second World War" from Past and Present, 29 (1964), 67–87.
- "Labour in the Third Reich" from Past and Present, 33 (1966), 187–191.
- "Nineteenth Century Cromwell" pages 187-191 from Past and Present, Volume 49, 1968.
- "Primacy of Politics: Politics and Economics in National Socialist Germany" from The Nature of Fascism edited by Stuart J. Woolf, 1968.
- Arbeiterklasse und Volksgemeinschaft: Dokumente und Materialien zur deutschen Abeiterpolitik, 1936–39, 1975.
- Sozialpolitik im Dritten Reich: Arbeiterklasse und Volksgemeinschaft, 1977.
- "Women in Germany, 1925–40: Family, Welfare, and Work" from History Workshop Journal 1 (1976), 74–113 and History Workshop Journal, 2 (1976), 5–32.
- "National Socialism and the German Working Class, 1925-May 1933" pages 49-93 from New German Critique Volume 11, 1977.
- "Worker's Opposition in Nazi Germany" from History Workshop Journal Issue II (1981), 120–137.
- "Injustice and Resistence: Barrington Moore and the Reaction of the German Workers to Nazism" from Ideas into Politics: Aspects of European History, 1880-1950 edited by R.J. Bullen, Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann and A.B. Polonsky, 1984.
- "Massenwiderstand ohne Organisation: Streiks im faschistischen Italien und NS-Deutschland" pages 1997-212 from Gewerkschaflice Monatschelfte, Volume 32, 1984.
- "Arbeirter ohne Gewerkschatften: Massenwiderstand im NS-Deutschland und im faschistischen Italien" pages 28-35 from Journal für Geschichte, 1985.
- "Arbeiter ohne Gewerkschaften: Masswiderstand im NS-Deutschland und im Faschistischen Italin" from Journal fur Geschichte (1985), 28–35.
- "History Workshop" pages 175-1986 from Passato e Presente, Volume 8, 1985.
- "Il nazismo come professione" pages 18-19 from Rinascita, Volume 18, May 18, 1985.
- "The Great Economic History Show" pages 129-154 from History Workshop Journal, Volume 21, 1986.
- "Italy and Modernisation" pages 127-147 from History Workshop Journal, Volume 25, 1988.
- "Gli scioperi di Torino del Marzo' 43" from L'Italia nella seconda guerra mondiale e nella resistenza, edited by Francesca Ferratini Tosi, Gatano Grasso, and Massimo Legnain, 1988.
- "Debate: Germany, `Domestic Criss and War in 1939': Comment 2" pages 205-221 from Past and Present, Volume 122, 1989.
- "Whatever Happened to `Fascism'?" pages 89-98 from Radical History Review, Volume 49, 1991.
- "The Domestic Dynamics of Nazi Conquests: A Response to Critics" from Reevaluating the Third Reich edited by Thomas Childers and Jane Caplan, 1993.
- Nazism, Fascism, and the Working Class: Essays by Tim Mason, edited by Jane Caplan, 1995.
- DiCori, Paola, Samuel, Raphael and Galleranto, Nicola "Tim Mason: l'uomo, lo studioso" pages 267-286 from Movimento Operaio e Socialista, Volume 13, 1990.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold, 1993.
- Peukert, Detlev Volksgenossen und Gemeinschaftsfredem: Anpassung, Ausmerze und Aufberehren unter dem Nationalsozialismus, Cologne: Bund Verlag, 1982.
- Samuel, Raphael "Tim Mason: A memorial" pages 129-188 from History Workshop Journal, Volume 39, 1990.
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