8 Great Books About the Amish

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 7.35.31 PMThose wanting to know more about the Amish are in luck. Many authors have tackled the topic of the Amish and have looked at Amish life from a variety of perspectives. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best books on the market. There are books that deal with Amish history as well as what it is like to be Amish and live in an Amish world.


Whether you want to learn more about Amish history, get a feel for what it is like to be Amish or both, this is the Amish book guide for you.



History of the Amish: Revised and Updated



History of the Amish: Revised and Updated is a popular entry into the history of the Amish. Noted Amish history expert, Steven M. Nolt’s well read work pulls together all of Amish history over the last 300 years. In History of the Amish, readers learn not just about the founding of the Amish, but also about their history and belief system. The end result is a book that is an easy and informative read. Read this one book and you will definitely have a better and fuller understanding of the Amish people and their culture.


The Amish and Amish Society by John A. Hostetler


Considered by many to be a classic on the topic of the Amish, The Amish by John A. Hostetler was originally published in 1952 and has sold nearly 800,000 copies. Amish historian and expert Steven M. Nolt as well as the author’s daughter Ann Hostetler have updated the newest version. For those looking for a good, easy to read primer on all things Amish, The Amish by John A. Hostetler is a must read. The work covers everything from religious beliefs to community life and a good deal more.


A nice companion to The Amish, also penned by Hostetler, is Amish Society. In Amish Society, the author dives in and explores Amish society and culture in greater detail and depth. Published in 1993 Amish Society has a more contemporary feel than The Amish, which was first published in 1952.


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Another exceptionally well researched book on the Amish comes from authors Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and well-known Amish expert Steven M. Nolt. In The Amish, the authors, who spent over 25 years researching this work, examine every aspect of Amish life, culture, religion, belief systems, way of life and more. Coming in at over 500 pages and published in 2013, The Amish is a fast and modern read. Full of the latest information, readers are sure to find The Amish a great second book on the Amish. After you’ve read a basic primer on the Amish, you’ll find this seminal work to be a great investment.


Amish in Their Own Words


No doubt reading works from researchers and experts will help anyone looking to learn about the Amish. That stated, works from the Amish themselves stand as the second key source of information on the topic of the Amish. Brad A Igou’s work Amish in Their Own Words has carefully assembled writings from the Amish people. The excerpts include everything from letters to articles.


The idea behind the work is to give people a glimpse into the minds of the Amish themselves, and the book succeeds. If you are looking for a book that helps you get a feel for the Amish and understand a little better how they perceive themselves, then Amish in Their Own Words is an excellent choice.


Living Without Electricity



Oftentimes people are quite interested in learning more about the day-to-day lives of the Amish. How the Amish live might feel like such a huge topic that it can be hard to know where to start, but with Living Without Electricity, readers can quickly get a feel for life is like on a daily basis for the Amish.


Written by Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pellman, Living Without Electricity explores the different ways that the Amish deal with not having a modern convenience that so many of us take for granted. If you are curious about how the Amish live without modern gadgetry and devices (and many are!) then you’ll love this easy to read and informative entry into the world of the Amish.


Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish


Just as how the Amish live without electricity draws attention and curiosity, so does the Amish custom of rumspringa. In Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish, author Tom Shachtman explores this coming-of-age ritual. Published in 2007, this book explores all aspects of rumspringa in considerable detail.



Growing Up Amish: A Memoir


The topic of rumspringa is also touched on in Ira Wagler’s Growing Up Amish: A Memoir. The book is a true story detailing the life of Wagler from his early childhood through rumspringa and his decision to leave the Amish Church at 26.


20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites, and Plain Answers About the Amish Life


Those looking for a basic, but quick and informative read on the Amish will enjoy Merle and Phyllis Good’s 20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites. A similar book is Mindy Starns Clark’s Plain Answers About the Amish Life, which also provides a nice overview of Amish like and quickly answers scores of important questions.


Together, these books provide a wide array of information regarding the Amish and their culture. Those looking to understand the Amish and their way of life will find that a great deal has been written on the topic. The books included in this article are just some of the best on what is a truly fascinating topic.

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