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This paper provides a historical review of the literature on the effects of radiation-induced displacement damage in semiconductor materials and devices. Emphasis is placed on effects in technologically important bulk silicon and silicon devices. The primary goals are to provide a guide to displacement damage literature, to offer critical comments regarding that literature in an attempt to identify key findings, to describe how the understanding of displacement damage mechanisms and effects has evolved, and to note current trends. Selected tutorial elements are included as an aid to presenting the review information more clearly and to provide a frame of reference for the terminology used. The primary approach employed is to present information qualitatively while leaving quantitative details to the cited references. A bibliography of key displacement-damage information sources is also provided.