What Did Edward C. Banfield Read?

The answer is, “Just about everything.”

Banfield himself wrote broadly, his books and articles covering topics such as agricultural policy, the U.S. Constitution, foreign aid policy, poverty, urban governance… Banfield even penned a few short didactic, short stories.  It is not for nothing that the late James Q. Wilson referred to his former teacher as “the man who knew too much.”

Ed and his wife Laura were bibliophiles—one cannot even venture to guess at how many books they acquired. Their collections held titles on nearly every topic matter: gardening (including mushroom identification), astronomy, history, philosophy, technology, fiction current and century or more old, and, not surprisingly, the classics (e.g., Plutarch). Below are two photographs of a tiny slice of Ed’s politics and history collection.

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