Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is best known for its abundantly productive farmland and for the Amish and other "Plain People" who have made their home there since colonial times. Now both of these unique features are in danger of being permanently destroyed. "The Garden Spot of America" loses more than 20 acres of farmland every day to accelerated development. And the AmiLancaster County, Pennsylvania is best known for its abundantly productive farmland and for the Amish and other "Plain People" who have made their home there since colonial times. Now both of these unique features are in danger of being permanently destroyed. "The Garden Spot of America" loses more than 20 acres of farmland every day to accelerated development. And the Amish, with a population that has doubled in the past 20 years and little land left to farm, tired of living in a fish-bowl for five million tourists a year, and frustrated by changing regulations, are moving out. They are going to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana -- anywhere to get away from "Amish Country."Randy Testa initially traveled to Lancaster County in the summer of 1988 to research his dissertation, never intending to become involved personally in county affairs. But living with an Amish family that summer he saw firsthand the trials they faced: constant streams of gawking tourists, the daily paving-over of rich farmland, and the greed and complicity of local officials. Realizing that the quiet, nonresistant Amish would not fight against these destructive influences, Testa felt called to speak out on their behalf.Thus began the continuing moral journey that is at the heart of After the Fire. It is a story of family and farming, community and faith, morality as practiced by the Amish in daily life. And, ultimately, it is about our own world, for as Testa writes, we must look to the Amish to "point out how far we have strayed." The book is illustrated with 20 charcoal drawings by Amish artist Susie Riehl. The drawings are as understated as the Amish themselves, simple yet striking sketches from within a threatened world.In this final decade of the twentieth century, a life-and-death struggle is being played out in Lancaster County: between land speculation and land stewardship, between material wealth and moral worth, between unrestrained growth and "the ties that bind." The Amish are at the center of the conflict, trying to maintain their unique community in the face of increasing encroachment from the outside. Randy Testa stands as a witness to their struggle, telling "the story of a people on the verge of conflagration."...
|Title||:||After the Fire: The Destruction of the Lancaster County Amish|
|Number of Pages||:||204 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
After the Fire: The Destruction of the Lancaster County Amish Reviews
This book is both a personal account of the author’s summer living and working among the Amish in Lancaster County, and an expose of the economic growth of Lancaster County and its impact on the Amish. As someone who is a native to Pennsylvania and who has ancestors from Lancaster County-as well as several in-laws living in Lancaster and York Counties-I was taken aback by the book’s didactic nature. The book portrays the Amish as pitted against the local English (non-Amish). The former wishing to preserve their farmland and their way of life, while the latter are interested solely in economic growth and entrepreneurial opportunity. This leaves out another equally important presence, that of the “Fancy” Pennsylvania Dutch (German). These descendants trace their history in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster, York and Chester Counties-as well as parts of northern Maryland-as far back as the Old Order Amish. They consist mostly (although, not exclusively) of adherents of the Methodist and Lutheran faiths. These other Pennsylvania Germans are equally flummoxed by the increase in visitors and the build-up of new housing. Indeed, these issues have plagued natives of Chester County for two generations.Of course, I do believe that general growth (as a nation) is necessary. The United States does not lack for unoccupied land. There is greater open land available in some of the mid-western states. However, it is of utmost importance to protect Pennsylvania farmland and orchard land.We should work together to pass and enact legislation that preserves farmland and orchard land. There are townships that have been able to do just that, however it has been easier to accomplish before the developers have taken hold in an area.One side note on the case of David Fisher: it is an unfortunate fact of life for citizens of Pennsylvania that we are required to “jump through hoops” in order to procure permits for even the smallest improvement to our homes. This is not solely an issue for the Amish. I do recognize, however, the need for allowances on such things as water regulations, which are clearly aimed at modern homes with appliances.I did enjoy the personal account of the author’s time with the Stoltzfus family. The conversations and the daily chores gave a glimpse into the life of an Amish family. I would have like to hear more about the daily life of the women. Overall, it is an enjoyable book and underscores some important issues plaguing Lancaster County.