BookBrowse Reviews Rumspringa by Tom Shachtman

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To Be or Not to Be Amish

by Tom Shachtman

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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2006, 304 pages
    May 2007, 304 pages

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A perceptive snapshot of the Amish and the larger culture in which they live and move. Current Affairs

From the book jacket: Rumspringa is a fascinating look at a little-known Amish coming-of-age ritual, the rumspringa - a period 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 in their lives - whether to become Amish.

Comment: I was interested to read Rumspringa because I've long admired the Amish for maintaining their simple ways in a complicated world, and particularly admired the concept of rumspringa, which gives teenagers the opportunity to live outside the community, both physically and morally, while they explore the world and decided whether or not to be baptized into the Amish community. However, sad to say, having read Rumspringa, I...

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