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A list of key readings about Amish.
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Amish religious texts

  • Braght, Thieleman J. van (compiler), Bloody Theater; or, Martyrs Mirror. ISBN 9780836113907
  • Simons, Menno, Complete Writings of Menno Simons, translated by Leonard Verduin, edited by John C. Wenger. ISBN 9780836113532.

Reformation background

  • Bainton, Roland, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century
  • Cohn, Norman, Pursuit of the Millennium ISBN 0-7126-5664-2
  • Klaassen, Walter, Anabaptism: Neither Catholic nor Protestant

History of the Amish

  • Nolt, Steven M., History of the Amish, (2003), ISBN 1-56148-393-1

Contemporary Amish

  • Hostetler, John A., Amish Society, 4th edition (1993), ISBN 0-8018-4442-8. Generally considered the definitive work on the Amish, with information on their history, culture, and group dynamics, as well as sociological perspectives, written by a man who was raised Amish and later became a professor of anthropology and sociology.
  • Johnson-Weiner, Karen, Train Up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools ISBN 0801884950
  • Kraybill, Donald B., The Riddle of Amish Culture (1989).
  • Kraybill, Donald B. and Steven M. Nolt, Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits (2nd ed, 2004)
  • Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, (2007), ISBN 978-0-7879-9761-8. Written in the aftermath of the Nickel Mines school shooting, this book examines the religious expression and values of the Amish, especially the concept of forgiveness.
  • Nolt, Steven M. and Thomas J. Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities (2007).
  • Schachtman, Tom, Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish ISBN 978-0-86547-687-5
  • Stoll, Joseph, David Luthy, and Elmo Stoll (editors), Our Heritage (Pathway Publishers, Aylmer, Ontario and LaGrange, Indiana) Amish school reader for the 8th grade (the highest grade level educated in Amish schools). Contains 100+ stories mainly of a religious, moral, and ethical nature designed to acquaint young Amish students (called scholars by the Amish) with their religious heritage. Many stories are adapted from the Martyrs' Mirror.
  • Vogeler, Ingolf, Critical Cultural Landscapes of North America (2008) - available online at [1]. Vogeler examines the "meanings and values" of various groupings in North America. In chapter 2 ("Communal Landscapes"), he examines various Utopian groupings, both extinct (Shaker, Oneida, Amana) and currently functional (Amish Mennonite, Hutterite).

Controversies and Issues

  • Kraybill, Donald B. (editor), The Amish and the State (1993). A series of essays examining interaction and conflict between the Amish and the government over such issues as military service, compulsory education, taxes and social security, and vehicle laws. ISBN 0801872367
  • Garrett, Ruth Irene and Rick Farrant, Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life The story of a woman raised in a strict Old Order Amish community in Iowa who left her family and community and was excommunicated. She now devotes her time to helping others who wish to leave the Amish community. ISBN 0-06-052992-X. For reviews of this book see review by Margaret Delle or review by Austin Cline.
  • Garrett, Ruth Irene and Deborah Morse-Kahn, Born Amish. Review by Austin Cline ISBN 1563119633

Views on the Amish

  • Weaver-Zercher, David L., The Amish in the American Imagination (2001)
  • Umble, Diane Zimmerman and David Weaver-Zercher (eds), The Amish and the Media (2008)


  • People's Place books - A series of books which can serve as a good, basic, non-academic introduction to all aspects of the Amish for the general reader. As a group, these books answer the most basic and often asked questions about the Amish, the history, culture, and way of life.
    • No. 1 - Good, Merle and Phyllis, The Twenty Most Asked Questons About the Amish and Mennonites (1995). ISBN 1-56148-185-8. A good basic introduction to the Amish, their history, traditions, and culture.
    • No. 2 - Ruth, John L., A Quiet and Peacable Life
    • No. 3 - Scott, Stephen, Plain Buggies - Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren Horse-Drawn Transportation
    • No. 4 - Pellman, Rachel T. and Joanne Ranck, Quilts Among the Plain People
    • No. 5 - Good, Phyllis, Delicious Amish Recipes
    • No. 6 - Fisher, Sara E. and Rachel K. Stahl, The Amish School. ISBN 0-934672-17-2.
    • No. 7 - Scott, Stephen, Why Do They Dress That Way?
    • No. 8 - Scott, Stephen, The Amish Wedding and Other Special Occasions of the Old Order Communities
    • No. 9 - * Scott, Stephen and Kenneth Pellman, Living Without Electricity, (1999), ISBN 0-934672-61-X. A brief, introductory level look at the contemporary Amish, with emphasis on their relationship to technology and the methods they employ in day-to-day living without utility electric power.
    • No. 10 - Kraybill, Donald B., The Puzzles of Amish Life
    • No. 11 - Scott, Stepheh, Amish Houses and Barns
    • No. 12 - Scott, Stephen, An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups