This companion to the PBS American Experience series is organized into 21 chapters under five main subject headings detailing the roots, culture, social organization, external ties, and future of 40 distinctive Amish groups. Maps, tables, and black-and-white photographs accent the interesting narrative. There are copious endnotes as well as a 24-page bibliography and a thorough index. This is a well-written, comprehensive, and insightful book that will make an excellent resource for public and academic libraries. --Carol Sue Harless
The authors successfully address the seeming exoticism of the Amish without sensationalism... Particular attention is paid to debunking myths surrounding the teenage rite of Rumspringa, a time of contemplation before full commitment to the church through baptism. The scholarship is enlivened with quotes and personal anecdotes, and the final section on the future of the Amish raises fascinating questions, even for casual readers.
Kraybill, Johnson-Weiner and Nolt have provided masterful research that enlightens the reader about this misunderstood religion and culture... The Amish is a must-read for anyone willing to look beyond the horse and buggy image and gain eye-opening knowledge of people keeping a wary eye on the modern world while holding fast to their past beliefs and traditions.
(Jeff Friend Foreword Reviews
In sum, Kraybill, Johnson-Weiner and Nolt have offered us a highly readable and thoroughly engaging lens into The Amish, and in doing so offer readers an opportunity to reflect on themselves in this book.
(Joel Gehman JoelGehman.com
Given its wide scope and up-to-date information there really isn’t a book like this on the Amish today. I would place it among a handful of Amish must-reads.
This is a great read for audiences from high school to professionals... highly recommended.
The book’s thoroughness is praiseworthy, along with its unbiased approach. It doesn’t overpraise the Amish, nor does it criticize their ways. If you’re wondering how traditional societies cope with the modern era, this book is perfect.
(Ben Wolinsky Olive Branch United
It is an essential work on the Amish for both those who begin with little knowledge and those who would like to update their understanding of this unique plain Christian community.
(Rod Janzen Annals of Iowa
Written by the foremost contemporary authority on the Amish along with experts on linguistics and Amish history, this impressive, illustrated volume positions itself as the best and most comprehensive book on the Amish in the twenty-first century. Based on twenty-five years of sociological and demographics research, face-to-face interviews and in-person observation, the twenty-two chapters cover every aspect of Amish life... The Amish is invaluable for the reader seeking a first, serious encounter with the subject, but readers with some prior knowledge of the Amish will benefit greatly from its comprehensive, national scope. For libraries with limited space, this is the one book on the Amish to own.
(J. Denny Weaver Nova Religio