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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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