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Your Guide to Pennsylvania's Amish Country

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Reliable Sources on the Amish 

You would be surprised by how many Web Sites include information on the Amish, but some are not very accurate or reliable. We've visited the sites listed below and recommend them to you for further information about our Amish neighbors.

(To visit one of the following sites, click on one of links listed below.)


Amish Buggies
Amish Buggy Safety
National Committee For Amish Religious Freedom

Recommended Reading 

There is much information in print about the Amish, some of it inaccurate. Novels with Amish themes are especially prone to have sensational and inaccurate depictions of the Amish. To help you learn more about the Amish, both generally and in specific areas of interest, the Amish Country News staff has prepared this list of recommended books. Some of these books may be at your local library. Most can be ordered at your favorite bookstore or purchased "online" via the internet.

The Amish Perspective

THE AMISH IN THEIR OWN WORDS, compiled by Brad Igou, 1999, Herald Press, ISBN 0-8361-9123-4 (illus.). Unique, highly recommended book of contemporary Amish writings on diverse topics from 25 years of the Amish magazine Family Life. Short readings and stories show the Amish as people; one of the few books actually written BY the Amish themselves.

AMISH WOMEN: LIVES AND STORIES by Louise Stoltzfus, 1994, ISBN 1-56148-129-7. Through interviews with several Amish women, the reader gets a personal glimpse into the lives of individuals and members of the Amish community.

General Overviews

THE RIDDLE OF AMISH CULTURE by Donald Kraybill, 1989, ISBN 0-8018-3682-4. Although dealing specifically with Lancaster Amish, it answers many of those difficult questions about why the Amish do what they do. A condensed version, PUZZLES OF AMISH LIFE, is available, ISBN 1-56148-001-0.

AMISH SOCIETY by John Hostetler, 1993, ISBN 0-8018-4442-8. Long considered the "definitive work" on the Amish, this more academic work gives a more sociological analysis of Amish society across the United States and covers many topics. 

A HISTORY OF THE AMISH by Steven Nolt, 1992, ISBN 1-56148-072-X is an enjoyable, well-written, and thorough look at Amish history, from European beginnings 450 years ago to the years of division and change in America.

A QUIET MOMENT IN TIME by Kreps, Donnermeyer, and Kreps, 1997, ISBN 1-890050-09-1. This readable book is one of the best "overviews" of the Amish today, covering subject areas clearly and concisely for the general public.

20 MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AMISH AND MENNONITES by Merle and Phyllis Good, 1995, ISBN 56148-185-8. Answers some of the most common questions about these groups.

Books on Specific Topics of Interest

THE AMISH SCHOOL by Sara Fisher and Rachel Stahl, 1986, ISBN 0-934672-17-2. A most readable book about the theory behind and everyday operation of the one-room school, co-authored by an Amish school teacher.

THE AMISH WEDDING by Stephen Scott, 1988, ISBN 0-934672-19-9. A more detailed look at weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other activities of Old Order groups.

LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY by Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pellman, 1990, ISBN 0-934672-61-X. Explains the often ingenious ways the Amish operate all kinds of things without the use of electrical power.

WHY DO THEY DRESS THAT WAY? by Stephen Scott, 1986, ISBN 0-934672-18-0. The title says it all. A thorough look at Plain clothing that dispels many of the myths and misconceptions behind what is worn.

THE AMISH STRUGGLE WITH MODERNITY edited by Donald Kraybill and Marc Olshan, 1994, ISBN 0-87451-684-6. Chapters by different authors focus on education, tourism, telephones, farm vs. factory, and women's roles, etc.

For Children

A DAY ON THE FARM WITH SAMUEL by J. R. Stoltzfus, 1995, ISBN 0-9646590-0-X. With simple text and illustrations, a delightful book for very young readers.

AMOS AND ABRAHAM by Sharyn Bellafiore, 1994, ISBN 1-56148-139-4. Two boys, Amish and Hasidic Jew, learn about their differences and what they have in common on a visit to Lancaster.

GROWING UP AMISH by Richard Ammon, 1989, ISBN 0-689-31387-X. For older readers, this delightful book covers a year in the life of an Amish girl, from school to church to chores at home on the farm.

Picture Books

OLD ORDER AMISH, photos by Lucian Niemeyer, text by Donald Kraybill, 1993, ISBN 0-8018-4426-6. An excellent book combining superb photographs of the Lancaster Amish with an insightful text.

AMISH WAYS by Ruth Hoover and Blair Seitz, 1991, ISBN 1-879441-77-2. Photographs of Amish in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and Ontario, Canada.

Amish Publications

You may wish to subscribe to Family Life, a monthly magazine printed by Amish-owned Pathway Publishers. It covers many topics and is a wealth of fascinating and insightful information (see the book THE AMISH IN THEIR OWN WORDS above). They also have two other publications: Young Companion, a monthly for young people, and Blackboard Bulletin, focusing on teaching and education. They also have an extensive book catalog. Write to: Pathway Publishers, RR4, LaGrange, Indiana 46761.

Subscriptions may also be obtained to the weekly Amish "newspaper," Die Botschaft, by contacting 420 Weaver Rd., Millersburg, PA 17061.

Another similar monthly publication is The Diary, with subscriptions available at PO Box 98, Gordonville, PA 17529.

To purchase Amish related books online, you can visit Herald Press or Good Books, or the usual online booksellers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

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All contents of this Amish Country News Web site are Copyright 2006 by Roncki, Inc. All brand names and trademarks are acknowledged as belonging to their respective owners.        This page last updated: February 21, 2010