Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review of "Amish Odyssey," by Bill Coleman

 Review of

Amish Odyssey, by Bill Coleman ISBN 0912383496

Five out of five stars

Chronicle of a simple life

 In his travels carrying a camera, Coleman encountered a remote valley in Pennsylvania populated by Old Order Amish. At first, he was treated with the normal suspicion assigned to an outsider, but over a period of years he was trusted to the point where they allowed him to chronicle their lives. Being of the Old Order, very little in the way of modernity is a part of their lives.

 The photos are of course first rate, clearly carefully selected from a large number. While their lives are simple and there are limits on what they are allowed to do, it is clear that they enjoy life. The most amusing captions are when a group of boys are playing Frisbee with their hats. One of the most touching moments is when Coleman encounters a barefoot young boy standing in the middle of the road, seemingly doing nothing. However, after a short time a herd of cattle crossed the road, walking right beside him. All present doing what is expected of them.

 As the world continues to rapidly change, it is uncertain how long such groups can remain in adherence to the Old Order. Fortunately, this book will provide a permanent record of much of their way of life.

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