The riddle of Amish culture

Front Cover
Johns Hopkins University Press, Feb 1, 1989 - Religion - 304 pages
13 Reviews
? Why will the Amish ride in cars but refuse to drive them? ? How can their old-fashioned farms turn a profit while many modern farms go broke? ? Do they ever change their customs? Who decides, and how? ? If they'll use pay phones, why not have a phone in the house? ? Why will they use electronic calculators but not computers?

The Amish are one of America's most intriguing and puzzling communities. To the outsider, their habits and customs abound with contradictions. But the most intriguing puzzle of all is the secret of their survival in the twentieth century. How have these "plain folk" not only kept the modern world at bay but actually grown from a meager band of 5,000 in 1900 to over 100,000 today?

Donald Kraybill has lived and worked among the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, home of America's oldest Amish community. Talking with the Amish on their farms, in their shops, and around their kitchen tables, he has learned how they have "struck a bargain" with modern times--a bargain that explains why many of the rules that seem quaint or silly actually have been essential to keeping Amish culture alive.

In The Riddle of Amish Culture Kraybill finds the Amish men and women eager to answer our questions. But they also have questions for us. Why, they ask, do we shut our aging parents out of our houses--and put them in institutions we call "homes?" Why do we move away from the towns and families we love in pursuit of jobs we hate? And why do we need weapons so powerful they could one day destroy us all--Amish and "English" alike?

The Riddle of Amish Culture draws us into conversation across a cultural fence with a people as remote as the seventeenth century and asclose to home as that blacktop road off the next Interstate exit. And what we learn about our Amish neighbors tells us much about ourselves.

"Some have wall-to-wall carpeting, insulated wooly stuff all around the top, a big dashboard, glove compartment, speedometer, clock, stereo radio, buttons galore, and lights and reflectors all over the place... If they have the money, that's what they do, and that's pride."--an Amish leader, on the "hot- rod" carriages of some Amish teenagers

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Review: The Riddle of Amish Culture

User Review  - Melissa - Goodreads

Well written and interesting, this book gives a wonderful, respectful introduction to Amish culture without fetishizing it. Read full review

Review: The Riddle of Amish Culture

User Review  - Lori - Goodreads

Answers many questions about the Amish and their way of life. Read full review

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Johns Hopkins University Press | Books | The Riddle of Amish Culture
Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious ... books/ title_pages/ 2824.html

JSTOR: The Riddle of Amish Culture
328 Donald B. Kraybill, The Riddle of Amish Culture, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1989, 304 p., $8.95 (paper) Menno Boldt, Ph.D. University ... sici?sici=0034-673X(199003)31%3A3%3C328%3ATROAC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-3

Kraybill: The Riddle of Amish Culture
In The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald Kraybill illustrates how one Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania not only successfully survives but prospers ... Research/ cultland/ annotations/ Kraybil1.html

Peaceful Societies
The Riddle of Amish Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Kraybill uses common perceptions and misperceptions about the Amish people to serve ... books.html

Kraybill in "The Riddle of Amish Culture" P. 186. In many ways, Amish youth do not have a real choice because their upbringing and all the social forces ... 2007/ 08/ humble-pie-of-sort.html

The Amish and Tourism
Donald Kraybill discusses this conflict between these disparate views in his book The Riddle of Amish Culture. He writes "[T]ourism, in general, ... ~hartmanj/ rs150/ papers/ t1harrisonfs02.html

Ordnung - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Specific details of the Ordnung vary across church districts and settlements." — Donald B. Kraybill , The Riddle of Amish Culture ... wiki/ Ordnung

Effect of Contact on Attitudes Toward the Old Order Amish: A Pilot ...
The riddle of Amish culture. Baltimore, MA: John Hopkins University Press. Sidanius, J., & Pratto, F. (1999). An intergroup theory of social hierarchy and ... meta/ p109939_index.html

Books on the Amish and Mennonites - religionfacts
The Riddle of Amish Culture (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies)by Donald B. Kraybill Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become ... christianity/ books/ amish_mennonite.htm

Good Books
For people desiring more information, one can recommend Kraybill’s more scholarly companion volume, The Riddle of Amish Culture.” — Mennonite Life ... titlepage.asp?ISBN=1561480010

About the author (1989)

Donald B. Kraybill is winner of the National Religious Book Award for The Upside- Down Kingdom. Among his other books are Perils of Professionalism, Facing Nuclear War, and Our Star-Spangled Faith. He is professor of sociology and Anabaptist Studies at Messiah College.

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