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The Amish

A Concise Introduction

Steven M. Nolt

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The essential introduction to Amish life and culture.

There seems to be no end to our fascination with the Amish, a religious minority that has both placed itself outside the mainstream of American culture and flourished within it. Yet most people know very little about the nuanced relationship the Amish have with society or their own communities.

Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork and collaborative research, Steven M. Nolt’s The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a compact but richly detailed portrait of Amish life. In fewer than 150 pages, readers will come away with a clear…

The essential introduction to Amish life and culture.

There seems to be no end to our fascination with the Amish, a religious minority that has both placed itself outside the mainstream of American culture and flourished within it. Yet most people know very little about the nuanced relationship the Amish have with society or their own communities.

Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork and collaborative research, Steven M. Nolt’s The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a compact but richly detailed portrait of Amish life. In fewer than 150 pages, readers will come away with a clear understanding of the complexities of these simple people. Writing in engaging and accessible language, Nolt explains how the Amish at once operate within modern America and stand very much apart from the world. Arguing that Amish life is shaped equally by internal and external social, political, and economic contexts, Nolt explores Amish identity as emerging from a complex cultural negotiation with modernity. He takes on much-hyped topics such as Rumspringa and reveals the distinctive Amish approach to technology. He also explains how Amish principles stand in contrast to contemporary American values, including rational efficiency, large-scale organization, and Western notions of individuality.

Authoritative, informative, and illustrated, this guide provides a vivid introduction to a way of life many find fascinating but few truly understand.

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The Amish

Steven M. Nolt

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Reviews

Reviews

There is much to learn (and unlearn) about Amish life; this book is the best place to start.

The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a highly useful book that presents the culture in a concise, easy to understand and package.

If you only read one book on the Amish, read this one. With engaging prose, Nolt answers our questions and explains how this horse-and-buggy community thrives in our hypermodern world. This is the gold-medal overview of America’s largest plain community. A great antidote to the fictitious fluff of 'reality' TV shows.

I am not aware of any other books that are as accessible, informed by scholarship, brief, and engaging as this one. A significant and nuanced contribution.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
152
ISBN
9781421419565
Illustration Description
28 halftones, 6 line drawings
Table of Contents

1. Meet the Amish
2. Amish Roots
3. Living the Old Order
4. Community and Church
5. Rumspringa
6. Family and Schooling
7. Work and Technology
8. The Amish and Their Neighbors
9. Amish Images in Modern America

1. Meet the Amish
2. Amish Roots
3. Living the Old Order
4. Community and Church
5. Rumspringa
6. Family and Schooling
7. Work and Technology
8. The Amish and Their Neighbors
9. Amish Images in Modern America
Appendix A
Appendix B
Notes
For Further Reading
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Steven M. Nolt

Steven M. Nolt is a professor of history and Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College and director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.