The many thousands uprooted and displaced by the Holocaust had a profound cultural impact on the countries in which they sought refuge, with a number of Holocaust escapees attaining prominence as scientists, writers, filmmakers, and artists. But what is less well known is the way in which this diaspora shaped the scholarly culture of their new-found homes. In this unique work, David Simon explores the pioneering role played by Jewish refugee scholars in the creation of development studies following the Second World War, and what we can we learn about the discipline by examining the social and intellectual history of its early practitioners. Through in-depth interviews with key figures and their relatives, Simon considers how the escapees’ experiences impacted their scholarship, showing how they played a key role in shaping their belief that development really did hold the potential to make a better world, free from the horrors of war, genocide and discrimination they had experienced under Nazi rule. In the process, he casts valuable new light on the origins and evolution of development studies from this formative postwar period to the present.