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: There have always been homeless people, but only in the 20th 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, this text covers everything from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century, encompassing the Armenian refugees, the Jews, the Spanish Civil War emigres, the Cold War refugees in flight from Soviet states and more. It shows not only the astounding dimensions of the subject but also depicts the shocking apathy and antipathy of the international community toward the homeless. It 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.