Books and Articles

*indicates Amish authorship

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General
Kraybill, Donald B., Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt. The Amish. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. [Comprehensive study of the Amish of North America in the 21st century.]

Nolt, Steven M. The Amish: A Concise Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. [Compact, informative guide to the Amish.]

Hostetler, John A. Amish Society. 4th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. [The classic text on Amish life that focuses on three large settlements: Holmes County, Ohio; Lancaster County, Pa.; and the Elkhart-LaGrange settlement in northern Indiana. Much of the fieldwork was done in the 1960s and 1970s but many of the interpretations of Amish culture are enduring.]

*Igou, Brad, comp. Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2019. [Selections of Amish writings from the Amish magazine Family Life.]

Kraybill, Donald B. Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. [340 entries providing a succinct overview of the history, religious beliefs, and cultural practices of the more than 200 different Anabaptist groups in North America.]

Kraybill, Donald B. The Riddle of Amish Culture. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. [A sociocultural history of the Lancaster Amish settlement with interpretations that apply to other settlements. Shows how the Amish negotiate sociocultural change in the context of modern society.]

Nolt, Steven M., and Thomas J. Meyers. Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. [A cultural-historical study of diverse Amish groups in Indiana. Offers a conceptual framework for understanding Amish diversity.]

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Business and Economy

Cross, John A. “The Expanding Role of the Amish in America’s Dairy Industry.” Focus on Geography 50:3 (2007): 7-16. doi:10.1111/j.1949-8535.2007.tb00199.x.

Johnson-Weiner, Karen M. “Keepers at Home? Amish Women and Entrepreneurship.American Studies Journal 63 (2017), doi:10.18422/63-04.

Kraybill, Donald B., and Steven M. Nolt. Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. [A study of the rapid rise of Amish businesses in the Lancaster settlement with a final chapter pertaining to settlements in the Midwest.]

Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and Erik J. Wesner. “Amish Enterprise: The Collective Power of Ethnic Entrepreneurship.” In Global Business and Economics Review 12 nos. 1/2 (2010): 3-20.

Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and Erik J. Wesner. “Sources of Enterprise Success in Amish Communities.” Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy 5, no. 2 (2011): 112-30.

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Cultural Practices

Elder, D. Rose. Why the Amish Sing: Songs of Solidarity and Identity. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

*Kline, David. Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer’s Journal. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990. [An Ohio Amish farmer’s reflections about nature across the four seasons.]

McConnell, David L. and Marilyn D. Loveless. Nature and the Environment in Amish Life. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.

Scott, Stephen E., Plain Buggies: Amish, Mennonite and Brethren Horse-drawn Transportation. Rev ed. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1998. [A detailed description of styles and types of horse-drawn carriages in different groups.]

Scott, Stephen E. Why Do They Dress That Way? Rev ed. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1997. [A detailed description of dress customs in various groups.]

Scott, Stephen E. Amish Houses and Barns. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1992. [Provides descriptions of architecture and homestead designs of Amish properties.]

Scott, Stephen E., and Kenneth Pellman. Living Without Electricity. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2000. [A description of technology practices among Amish groups.]

*Stoltzfus, Sam S. What It’s Like to Be Amish: Reflections of an Amish Farmer. Lancaster, PA: Walnut Street Books, 2018.

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Decorative Arts

Herr, Patricia T. Amish Arts of Lancaster County. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1998.

Luthy, David. Amish Folk Artist Barbara Ebersol: Her Life, Fraktur, and Death Record Book. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 1995.

McCauley, Daniel, and Kathryn McCauley. Decorative Arts of the Amish of Lancaster County. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1988.

McLary, Kathleen. Amish Style: Clothing, Home Furnishing, Toys, Dolls, and Quilts. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993.

Pottinger, David. Quilts from the Indiana Amish: A Regional Collection. New York: E.P. Dutton in association with the Museum of American Folk Art, 1983.

Smucker, Janneken. Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

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Education

Dewalt, Mark W. Amish Education in the United States and Canada. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2006.

*Farmwald, Delbert, ed. History and Directory of Indiana Amish Parochial Schools. Topeka, IN: Study Time Publishers, 2004. [An Amish perspective on the origins of Indiana Amish schools; a complete list of schools by settlement; and minutes of the school directors and teachers meetings since 1964.]

Hostetler, John A., and Gertrude Enders Huntington. Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, 1992. [Based on fieldwork from the 1970s, the authors describe Amish socialization in the context of family and community.]

Johnson-Weiner, Karen. Train Up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. [A thorough description and analytical comparison of Old Order education in five different types of communities.]

Keim, Albert N., ed. Compulsory Education and the Amish: The Right Not to Be Modern. Boston: Beacon, 1975. [Essays by scholars on the US Supreme Court’s decision on Amish schooling in Wisconsin v. Yoder in 1972. Includes the text of the court’s decision.]

*Kinsinger, Andrew S., comp. A Little History of Our Parochial Schools and Steering Committee from 1956–1994. Gordonville, PA: Gordonville Print Shop, 1997. [An Amish leader’s reflections on the development of Amish private schools.]

*Lapp, Christ. Pennsylvania School History 1690-1990. Gordonville, PA: Gordonville Print Shop, 1991. [A 650-page compendium of newspaper reports and minutes of meetings on the rise of Amish schools in the mid-twentieth century. Compiled by an Amish man.]

Peters, Shawn F. The Yoder Case: Religious Freedom, Education, and Parental Rights. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003.

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Ex-Amish and Amish Converts

Furlong, Saloma Miller. Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2011.

Furlong, Saloma Miller. Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2014.

Miller, Marlene C. Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2015.

Smith, Jeff. Becoming Amish: A Family’s Search for Faith, Community, and Purpose. Cedar, MI: Dance Hall Press, 2016.

Wagler, Ira. Growing Up Amish: A Memoir. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2011.

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Family and Gender

*Davis, Martha Moore, ed. Sarah’s Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 1997. [An edited and annotated diary of an Amish woman living near Kalona, Iowa.]

Hostetler, John A., and Gertrude Enders Huntington. Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, 1992. [Based on fieldwork from the 1970s, this text describes Amish socialization in the context of the family.]

Johnson-Weiner, Karen M. “Keepers at Home? Amish Women and Entrepreneurship.American Studies Journal 63 (2017), doi:10.18422/63-04.

Kraybill, Donald B., and Gertrude Enders Huntington. “The Amish Family.” In Ethnic Families in America: Patterns and Variations, 5th ed., edited by Roosevelt H. Wright, Jr., Charles H. Mindel, Thanh Van Tran, and Robert W. Habenstein, 437-460. Boston: Pearson, 2012.

Schmidt, Kimberly D., Diane Zimmerman Umble, and Steven D. Reschly, eds. Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. [Scholarly essays on gender and family, several of which deal with the Amish.]

Scott, Stephen E. The Amish Wedding and Other Special Occasions of the Old Order Communities. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1988. [Two chapters focus on courtship and wedding practices; the other eight chapters describe other rituals in various Amish and non-Amish Old Order communities.]

Stevick, Pauline. Beyond the Plain and Simple: A Patchwork of Amish Lives. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2007. [Short essays, many of which relate to women and family life.]

Stoltzfus, Louise. Amish Women: Lives and Stories. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1994. [Based on interviews the author, who comes from Amish background, conducted with Amish women.]

Stoltzfus, Louise. Traces of Wisdom: Amish Women and the Pursuit of Life’s Simple Pleasures. New York: Hyperion, 1998. [Wisdom for living from Amish women: several dozen short essays summarized by the author.]

*Stoltzfus, Naomi, and Linda S. Ingham. God Moves Mountains One Pebble at a Time: The Healing Journey of Naomi Stoltzfus. Morgantown, PA: Masthof Press, 2005. [An Amish woman tells her story of sexual abuse and healing and offers advice for others suffering abuse.]

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Government and Politics

*Kinsinger, Andrew S., comp. A Little History of Our Parochial Schools and Steering Committee from 1956–1994. Gordonville, PA: Gordonville Print Shop, 1997. [An Amish leader’s reflections on the development of Amish private schools.]

Kraybill, Donald B., ed. The Amish and the State. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. [Fourteen essays by various scholars on conflicts between the Amish and the state including topics such as Social Security, education, health care, and conscription.]

Kraybill, Donald B. and Kyle Kopko. “Bush Fever: Amish and Old Order Mennonites in the 2004 Presidential Election.” Mennonite Quarterly Review 81, no. 2 (April 2007): 165-205.

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Health and Medical Care

Cates, James. “Facing Away: Mental Health Treatment with the Old Order Amish.” American Journal of Psychotherapy 59, no. 4 (2005): 371-83. [An essay on addressing mental health issues, based on the author’s clinical experience.]

Cates, James. Serving the Amish: A Cultural Guide for Professionals. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Cross, Harold E., and Andrew H. Crosby, “Amish Contributions to Medical Genetics,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 82 (July 2008): 449-67.

Kaiser, Grace H. Dr. Frau: A Woman Doctor among the Amish. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1986. [The personal account of a physician who delivered babies in Amish homes in the Lancaster settlement.]

King, Martha. “Cultural Contexts of Health and Illness among the Lancaster Amish.” Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2014. [A doctoral dissertation on health care from the perspective of medical anthropology.]

Kraybill, Donald B., ed. The Amish and the State. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. [See chapter 9, “Health Care,” by Gertrude Enders Huntington.]

Lehman, Elton. House Calls and Hitching Posts. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2006. [The personal account of a physician who provided care for Amish families in Ohio.]

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History

Hostetler, John A., ed. Amish Roots: A Treasury of History, Wisdom, and Lore. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. [A wide-ranging collection of short essays, accounts, and documents from Amish history, written by both Amish and non-Amish.]

*Luthy, David. The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840–1960. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1986. [An authoritative description of 100 Amish settlements that failed over a 120-year period.]

Steven M. Nolt, A History of the Amish. 3rd ed. New York: Good Books, 2015. [Authoritative source on Amish history from their origins in 1693.]

Pratt, Dorothy O. Shipshewana: An Indiana Amish Community. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2004. [This history of the Amish in northern Indiana focuses mostly on the period 1910–1945.]

Reschly, Steven D. The Amish on the Iowa Prairie, 1840 to 1910. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Roth, John D., ed. and trans. Letters of the Amish Division: A Sourcebook. Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society, 1993. [Primary sources on the Amish division in 1693.]

Yoder, Paton. Tradition and Transition: Amish Mennonites and Old Order Amish, 1800–1900. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991. [An account of the tumultuous years in the last half of the nineteenth century that led to the formation of the “Old Order” Amish.]

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Hymnody

Ausbund das ist: Etliche schone christliche Lieder. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Press, 1984. [The Amish hymnbook, first printed in 1564, that is used by all Amish groups. Contains words but not musical score.]

*Blank, Benuel S. The Amazing Story of the Ausbund. Sugarcreek, OH: Carlisle Press, 2001. [An Amish man’s account of the importance of the Ausbund in Amish life and history.]

Elder, D. Rose. Why the Amish Sing: Songs of Solidarity and Identity. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Songs of the Ausbund: History and Translations of Ausbund Hymns. 2 vols. Millersburg, OH: Ohio Amish Library, 1998 and 2011. [English translations and interpretation of selected hymns from the Ausbund.]

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Language

Louden, Mark L., Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.

Seifert, Lester W. J. A Word Atlas of Pennsylvania German, edited by Mark L. Louden, et al. Madison, WI: Max Kade Institute for German American Studies, 2001.

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Media and Tourism

*Luthy, David. “The Origins and Growth of Amish Tourism.” In The Amish Struggle with Modernity, edited by Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan, 113-29. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994.

Trollinger, Susan L. Selling the Amish: The Tourism of Nostalgia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Weaver-Zercher, David. The Amish in the American Imagination. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2001. [Shows how Americans view the Amish and how those images function in popular culture.]

Weaver-Zercher, David, and Diane Zimmerman Umble, eds. The Amish and the Media. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2008. [Essays on the Amish in popular culture including film, news, and literature and also Amish-developed media in their own culture.]

Weaver-Zercher, Valerie. Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2013.

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Regional Studies

Browning, Clyde. Amish in Illinois: Over One Hundred Years of the “Old Order” Sect of Central Illinois. Decatur, IL: privately printed by the author, 1971. [An informal history of the Amish by a former public school superintendent.]

Gingerich, Orland. The Amish of Canada. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972. [An account of the first Amish settlements in Canada and later migrations from the United States.]

Huntington, Gertrude Enders. Amish in Michigan. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2001.

Hurst, Charles E., and David L. McConnell. An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World’s Largest Amish Community. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. [Detailed study of the settlement in Holmes-Wayne Counties, Ohio, with special attention to issues of family, schooling, work, and health care.]

Johnson-Weiner, Karen. New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State. 2nd ed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017.

Kraybill, Donald B. The Riddle of Amish Culture. Rev. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. [A socio-cultural history of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish settlement.]

Meyers, Thomas J. and Steven M. Nolt. An Amish Patchwork: Indiana’s Old Orders in the Modern World. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. [An in-depth overview of the Amish of Indiana.]

Schwieder, Elmer, and Dorothy Schwieder. A Peculiar People: Iowa’s Old Order Amish. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1975. [An introduction to the Amish of Iowa in the mid-twentieth century.]

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Related Groups

Anderson, Cory. The Amish-Mennonites of North America. Medina, NY: Ridgeway Publishing, 2012.

Kraybill, Donald B. Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.

Kraybill, Donald B., and Carl D. Bowman. On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Kraybill, Donald B., and James Hurd. Horse and Buggy Mennonites: Hoofbeats of Humility in a Postmodern World. State College, PA: Penn State University Press, 2006. [Describes the cultural values and social organization of an Old Order Mennonite group similar to the Amish.]

Scott, Stephen E. An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups. Intercourse, PA: Good Books 1996. [Describes a wide variety of “near-Amish” groups.]

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Religious Beliefs

*1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life. LaGrange, IN: Pathway Publishing Corp., 1992. [Catechism-style questions and answers on a wide variety of Amish beliefs.]

Braght, Thieleman J. van, comp. The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians.2nd English ed., 24th printing. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2002. [Anabaptist church history book, first published in Dutch in 1660. This English edition, or an Amish-published German edition, is common in Amish homes.]

*A Devoted Christian’s Prayer Book. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1995. [English translation of a 1739 Anabaptist devotional book, Die Ernsthafte Christenpflicht, containing prayers for all occasions, frequently used by the Amish.]

Dordrecht Confession of Faith. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1976. [The eighteen articles of the Dordrecht Confession were written in 1632 in the Dutch city of Dordrecht. The confession is printed in many Amish publications and used for instruction of baptismal candidates.]

*In Meiner Jugend: A Devotional Reader in German and English. Translated by Joseph Stoll. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 2000. [Prayers, devotional readings, and texts used in baptisms and weddings, plus the Dordrecht Confession of Faith and Rules of a Godly Life.]

Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. [Describes certain Amish religious beliefs in the context of the Amish forgiveness story that followed the shooting of schoolgirls at Nickel Mines.]

Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher. The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. [Explores Amish spirituality as it touches all areas of Amish life.]

Weaver-Zercher, David L. Martyrs Mirror: A Social History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.

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Social Change

Kraybill, Donald B. The Riddle of Amish Culture. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. [Focuses on social change in the Lancaster settlement and demonstrates how the Amish negotiate changes with the larger culture.]

Kraybill, Donald B., and Marc A. Olshan, eds. The Amish Struggle with Modernity. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994. [Contains essays on social change, technology, education, businesses, tourism, and gender.]

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Technology

Kraybill, Donald B. The Riddle of Amish Culture. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. [See especially chapters 8 and 9 for discussions of the car, tractor, farm equipment, and the adaption of technology to fit Amish values.]

Kraybill, Donald B., and Steven M. Nolt. Amish Enterprise; From Plows to Profits. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. [See chapters 6 and 7 for discussions of technology in the development and operation of Amish businesses.]

Scott, Stephen E., and Kenneth Pellman. Living Without Electricity. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2000. [A description of technology practices among Amish groups.]

Umble, Diane Zimmerman. Holding the Line: The Telephone in Amish Mennonite and Amish Life. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996. [A historical account of Amish and Mennonite resistance to the telephone, from a communications perspective.]

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Youth

Shachtman, Tom. Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish. New York: North Point Press, 2006. [Focuses primarily on several rebellious youth from one settlement.]

Stevick, Richard A. Growing Up Amish: The Rumspringa Years. Rev. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. [A balanced description of Amish youth including chapters on Rumspringa, courtship, and weddings in various Amish settlements.]

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About the site

Amish Studies is an academic website developed by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College to provide reliable information on Amish life and culture. Designed to assist scholars, students and the general public, the site was developed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Amish population statistics are updated annually in the summer. Other information is updated periodically.

For more in-depth discussion about the Amish:
The Amish book cover

Authors: Donald Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013; paperback, 2018)

Recent books

In partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, the Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies publishes innovative and creative scholarship. The latest volume in the series explores the roles and experiences of Amish women:
The Lives of Amish Women book cover
Author: Karen Johnson-Weiner (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)