Commentary

Edward Banfield Revisited

– Daniel DiSalvo, "Edward Banfield Revisited," National Affairs, Summer: 2017.    
Excerpt: Many involved in the contemporary policy debate share the view that the nation is in crisis and that bold political action is needed — even if they disagree on what that action should be. Some two-thirds of the public also believe that the… More

How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centrism

– Kevin Kosar, "How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centrism," Zocalo, Dec. 15, 2016.
Kevin Kosar revists Banfield’s landmark Moral Basis of a Backwards Society. Excerpt: More than 60 years ago, an American family arrived in a seemingly idyllic town in Southern Italy. Stone buildings resembled “a white beehive against the top of a… More

Moral Sense and Society

– John J. DiIulio Jr., Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2012.
Excerpt: A one-time New Deal government employee and enthusiast, Banfield became a self-described “vintage Burkean conservative.” His early career had him immersed in the social sciences that promised deliverance from urban ills via urban… More

Edward Banfield on the Promise of Politics and the Limits of Federalism

– Kimberly Hendrickson, Publius, Vol. 34, No. 4, Autumn, 2004, pp. 139-152.
Edward Banfield is generally considered to be a conservative, but this assumption is problematic. This essay examines his views on federalism and local politics in an attempt to better understand his orientation. While he holds views on federalism and… More

Remembrance from a Former Student

– L. James Hammond, PhLit newsletter, December 27, 2002.
Excerpt: When I was a Harvard freshman in 1980, Banfield was my teacher in a small seminar. After I graduated, I sent him a copy of my book of aphorisms, a copy that I had made on my typewriter; at that time, I called the bookDawn of a Renaissance. He was… More

Edward C. Banfield: An Appreciation (Salvatori Center Colloquium)

– Henry Salvatori Center Monograph, New Series, No. 3, Claremont McKenna College (April 2002).
Excerpt: The work that follows is devoted to Edward C. Banfield, in more ways than one. To begin with, it contains the proceedings of a Henry Salvatori Center colloquium that discussed many of his writings and the significance of his lifework; a biographical… More

Memorial Minutes: Edward C. Banfield, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

– Submitted by Samuel P. Huntington, Arthur Maass, James Q. Wilson, and Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University Gazette, January 2001.
Excerpt: At a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on October 17, 2000, the following Minute was placed upon the records. Edward C. Banfield, the George D. Markham Professor of Government Emeritus, died peacefully at his Vermont summer home on… More

The Unheavenly Urban Philosopher

– James Neuechterlein, First Things, December 1999.
Excerpt: The newspapers reported the death, a few months ago, of Edward C. Banfield at age eighty-three, and in reading various obituaries and remembrances I was forcefully reminded that, although I never met Professor Banfield, he was a major influence in my… More

Remarks in the Senate

– Senator Daniel Moynihan, Congressional Record, October 18, 1999.
Excerpt: Mr. President, Edward C. Banfield has died. This had to come. He was 83. Yet little were those who loved him prepared. Or ready, you might say. He held, of course, Henry Lee Shattuck Chair in Government at Harvard and, as Richard Bernstein notes in… More

The Man Who Knew Too Much

– James Q. Wilson, The Weekly Standard, October 18, 1999.
Excerpt: IN THE INCREASINGLY DULL, narrow, methodologically obscure world of the social sciences, it is hard to find a mind that speaks not only to its students but to its nation. Most scholars can’t write, many can’t think. Ed Banfield could… More

The Gift of a Great Teacher by Robert J. Samuelson

– Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, October 14, 1999.
Excerpt: If you are lucky in life, you will have at least one great teacher. More than three decades ago, I had Ed Banfield, a political scientist who taught mainly at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. Ed’s recent death at 83 saddened me… More

E. C. Banfield, 83, Maverick On Urban Policy Issues, Dies

– Richard Bernstein, New York Times, October 8, 1999.
Excerpt: Edward C. Banfield, a professor emeritus of government at Harvard University whose work on urban policy and the causes of poverty gave him a reputation as a brilliant maverick, died Sept. 30 at his summer home in Vermont. He was 83 and lived in… More

Banfield Redux

– James Cramer, Harvard Crimson, September 15, 1975.
Excerpt: Not many undergraduates around here have heard of Edward C. Banfield. Unless you’ve taken an urban studies class you probably don’t even know his name. And that’s just the way Banfield wants it when he returns to Harvard this spring… More

Banfield’s Back

– Jim Cramer, Harvard Crimson, August 1, 1975.
Excerpt: What mostly upsets Banfield’s critics is that he finds that there is no urban crisis–or at least no crisis that can’t be corrected by that conservative weapon of time. And he makes it explicit that he wants time and only time to… More

Urban Expert Edward C. Banfield To Return to Government Department

– Mark J. Penn, Harvard Crimson, July 29, 1975.
Excerpt: Edward C. Banfield, former Shattuck Professor of Government and an expert on urban affairs, has decided to return to Harvard after three years at the University of Pennsylvania, partially because of a clash with radical students there. A source close… More

Forty Form ‘Counter’ to Gov 146; Banfield Agrees It’s a Great Idea

– Robert A. Rafsky, Harvard Crimson, October 18, 1966.
Excerpt: Gov 146, Edward Banfield’s treatment of urban problems and the second largest course in the College, spawned a counter-course last night. Some 40 undergraduates and graduate students met in Phillips Brooks House to set up a weekly seminar that… More