A revelatory look at Amish youth as they have never been looked at before
Rumspringa is a fascinating look at a little-known Amish coming-of-age ritual, the rumspringa--the period of "running around" that begins for their youth at age sixteen. Through vivid portraits of teenagers in Ohio and Indiana, Tom Shachtman
offers an account of Amish life as a mirror to the soul-searching and questing that we recognize as a generally intrinsic part of adolescence.
The trappings of the Amish way of life--the "plain" clothes and electricity-free farms--conceal the communities' mystery: how they manage to retain their young people and perpetuate themselves generation after generation. The key to this is the rumspringa, when Amish youth are allowed to live outside the bounds of their faith, experimenting with alcohol, premarital sex, trendy clothes, telephones, drugs, and wild parties. By allowing them such freedom, their parents hope they will learn enough to help them make the most important decision of their lives--whether to be baptized as Christians, join the church, and forever give up worldly ways, or to remain out in the world.
In this searching book, Shachtman draws on his skills as a documentarian to capture young people on the cusp of a fateful decision, and to give us an original and deeply affecting portrait of the Amish as a whole.
About Tom ShachtmanSee more books from this Author
Shachtman (Terrors and Marvels, 2001, etc.) describes the rite of passage called rumspringa, which allows these kids to sample their “English” counterparts’ vices—drinking, drug use, casual sex—before deciding whether to accept the Amish way of life and renounce those excesses for good.Jun 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Rumspringa: To Be or Not to B...
A teenage Amish girl sits in her buggy, one hand dangling a cigarette while the other holds a cellphone in which she is loudly chatting away. This girl, like many Amish teens 16 and older, is in aMar 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Rumspringa: To Be or Not to B...
The Amish tradition of rumspringa codifies such adolescent rebellion: at the age of 16, Amish youth become exempt from the strict rules, or ordnung, of the faith in order to decide whether to join the outside, American world or be baptized into the Amish Mennonite Church.Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Rumspringa: To Be or Not to B...
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