My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Simply Amish

I have read a lot of books on the Amish culture!  Some were small tourist booklets, and some were scholarly books an inch thick that I read with a yellow highlighter in hand.  This book, Simply Amish, is a new addition to my library.  The title is quite on target when it says “an essential guide.”

The book was written by Donald Kraybill, one of the most published authors on the subject, and was just released in 2018.  Dr. Kraybill has devoted a lifetime to the scholarly study of the Amish, most recently at the Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, and after writing some very weighty books on the topic, he has now written a book for everyone.

The book is small—about 6 by 8 inches and under 100 pages, with lots of full-page illustrations.  But don’t be fooled by its size.  Each page is packed with information, well organized and clearly explained.  I read many of the chapters twice, just to absorb everything, and I learned a number of  new things. Helpful charts and maps like this one make the book even more valuable:

So, I think I just wrote my first book review!  For more scholarly books on the Amish, read The Riddle of Amish Culture by Donald Kraybill; A History of the Amish by Steven Nolt; Plain Diversity by Steven Nolt and Thomas Meyers; or the 525-page The Amish by Kraybill, Johnson-Weiner, and Nolt .  But for a good, solid overview, pick up a copy of this book.

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