There are two books that have been published recently that I think are the best I have read on Amish culture and history, and people who are ‘Amish Lieben’ ought to consider getting copies for their libraries. They are very different types of books, but each is assuredly authentic and very much worth the price.
First, I recommend the tiny novella “Everybody Was Happy,” by Edward Schrock. This enjoyable paperback was printed by Schlabach Printers in Sugarcreek, Ohio, in June of 2011. It is written as fiction, but it is most assuredly the authentic recollections of a man who lived the life and still does to this day. I consider it something close to a memoir, but Ed assures me it was written as fiction. At any rate, it is one of the most authentic slices of Amish life I have ever read.
Leroy Beachy’s “Unser Leit – The Story of the Amish” is a different type of book altogether. I estimate that it is the most thorough, insightful, and reliable history of the Amish and Mennonite peoples that has ever been written. It was published by Goodly Heritage Books in 2011 as a leatherette-bound double volume boxed set. Its scope and detail are astonishing, and its numerous illustrations are works of art. It is the opus magnus of a man who spent his entire life researching the history of his people, and his accomplishment is made even more remarkable by the fact that (Leroy assures me of this) he typed the entire manuscript one letter at a time, using the eraser end of a pencil. If you want to know the history, and I mean all of the history, from someone who best knows it all, this is a ‘must have’ book.
Both books are available at The Gospel Book Store in Berlin, Ohio, 330-893-2523, (www.mygospelbookstore.com)