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Amish Enterprise

, 304 pages

47 b&w illus.

March 2004
List price:$26.00
Sale price:$6.00
You save:$20.00



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Amish Enterprise

From Plows to Profits

second edition

Amish culture has been rooted in the soil since its beginnings in 1693. But what happens when members of America's oldest Amish community enter non-farm work in one generation? How will hundreds of cottage industries and micro-enterprises reshape the heart of Amish life? Will traditional eighth grade education still prove adequate? What about gender roles, child-rearing practices, leisure activities, and growing ties with outsiders? Amish Enterprise was the first book to discuss these dramatic changes that are transforming Amish communities across North America. Based on interviews with more than 150 Amish entrepreneurs, the authors trace the rise and impact of businesses in Lancaster's Amish settlement in recent decades. In this new edition, the authors update demographic and technological changes, and also describe Amish enterprises outside of Pennsylvania in a new chapter.

Donald B. Kraybill is Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania. Widely recognized for his work on Anabaptist groups, he has authored and edited many books, including The Riddle of Amish Culture and The Amish and the State, both available from Johns Hopkins. Steven M. Nolt is an associate professor of history at Goshen College, Indiana. He is the author of numerous articles and several books on Anabaptist and Pennsylvania German groups.

"Useful in courses in religion and culture; an excellent supplementary text for courses in sociology... Amish and other minority groups... may be inspired and instructed by this heartening document."

"Important for anyone interested in the interplay between a small, separate religious group and the dominant culture."

"In developing the concept of cultural restraints, Kraybill and Nolt expand the ethnic economy literature that only discusses cultural resources, not restraints. This theoretical contribution is valuable because religious beliefs handicap Amish entrepreneurs in many serious ways."

"The Amish lifestyle is changing, but the Amish grasp on the land is stronger than ever... The move of Amish into small businesses was documented by Donald B. Kraybill in his recent book, Amish Enterprise... Some Amish 'shopmen' no longer need to work dawn-to-dusk, as they did when tending dairy herds requiring 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. milkings. In this male-dominated society, some men are not the dominant influence in this cultural change because 'twenty percent of the businesses are operated by women."

"Kraybill studied 1,000 Amish businesses in Lancaster County and found few cases of failure—and some big successes. Some 15 percent had sales over $100,000, and 7 percent had sales over half a million dollars."

"At once sensitive and compassionate, this is a significant contribution to understanding how Amish culture is being transformed... This is scholarship at its best."

"Provides yet another fine example of Kraybill and Nolt's excellent scholarship on and respect for the Amish people."

"Admirably organized, clearly and engagingly written, and free from unnecessary jargon. While objective and independent in approach, Kraybill and Nolt display commendable respect for Amish principles and attitudes."

" Amish Enterprise thoroughly documents the causes and consequences of Amish involvements in business... This book has many of the virtues of the people it studies. It represents thorough work, clear organization and carefully measured judgments. The authors are good story tellers as well as social analysts. The book deserves the acclaim it has received."

" Amish Enterprise is a well-written, fascinating book on how the Old Order Amish cope with modernity."

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