The classic, comprehensive history of European refugees in the twentieth century
European Refugees from the First World War Through the Cold War
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Michael R. Marrus, foreword by Aristide R. Zolberg
There have always been homeless people, but only in the twentieth century have refugees become an important part of international politics, seriously affecting relations between states. Since the 1880s, the number of displaced persons has climbed astronomically, with people scattered over vaster distances and for longer periods of time than ever before. Tracing the emergence of this new variety of collective alienation, The Unwanted covers everything from the late nineteenth century to the present, encompassing the Armenian refugees, the Jews, the Spanish Civil War émigrés, the Cold War refugees in flight from Soviet states, and much more. Marrus shows not only the astounding dimensions of the subject but also depicts the shocking apathy and antipathy of the international community toward the homeless. He also examines the impact of refugee movements on Great Power diplomacy and considers the evolution of agencies designed to assist refugees, noting outstanding successes and failures.
"It is usually the most extreme aspect of calamity that attracts our attention.... Somehow, human suffering on an aggregate level seems best understood when presented in the category of death. Michael Marrus's impressive study implicitly challenges this wide-ranging epistemology of human misery and destruction by making not the millions of killed but rather an even greater mass of refugees the subject of his meticulous study. The argument is simple, yet convincing. For Marrus, the phenomenon of refugees on a massive scale is inextricably linked to the development of modern politics and society.... [W]e should be grateful to Marrus for having provided us with a fine study of a topic that should command the constant attention of all decent human beings in the world."
"Heinrich Böll has called this 'the century of prisoners and refugees.' Michael Marrus's carefully crafted book helps to explain why this is so."
"The most comprehensive description of the European refugee problem...Well written and rich in references."
List of Maps
Part I: Toward a Mass Movement
Part II: Thenansenera
Epilogue Contemporary Europe
Aristide R. Zolberg is University-in-Exile Professor at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City and Director of the International Center for Migration, Ethnicity, and Citizenship. He is the author or editor of many books, including Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World and How Many Exceptionalisms?.
In the series
Politics, History, and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey.
This series will disseminate serious works that analyze the social changes that have transformed our world during the twentieth century and beyond. The main topics to be addressed include international migration; human rights; the political uses of history; the past and future of the nation-state; decolonization and the legacy of imperialism; and global inequality. The series will also translate into English outstanding works by scholars writing in other languages.