Garden Spot

Garden Spot : Lancaster County, the Old Order Amish, and the Selling of Rural America

2.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Each year, millions of tourists are drawn to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to experience first-hand the quintessential pastoral-both as an escape from urban life and as a rare opportunity to become immersed in history. The area has attracted visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the distinctive religious community of the Old Order Amish, to appreciate the beauty of the farmland, to enjoy the abundant and delicious food of the Pennsylvania Dutch...and, most recently, to shop at the area's outlet malls. For nearly three hundred years, Lancaster county has been a model of agricultural prosperity, rooted in the family farm. The rural character of the place remains Lancaster's predominant tourist attraction, but is at odds with its rapidly rising population and the commercial and residential growth that has brought. It is the tension between rural tradition, progress, and urbanization that lies at the core of Garden Spot. David Walbert examines how twentieth century American culture has come to define and appreciate rurality, and how growth and economic expansion can co-exist with preservation of the traditional ways of life in the region. Will small farms fail in a culture that has increasingly come to value productivity over quality of life? What impact will further development have on maintaining this region's character? Can rurality and progress co-exist in the 21st century? A vivid portrayal of the land and people, residents and outsiders alike, Garden Spot narrates the history of this region and considers the challenges Lancaster County and its people face in order to preserve their unique place.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 270 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 20mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 19 halftones & 2 maps
  • 0195148444
  • 9780195148442

Review quote

There is grist for both the scholar and interested layperson ... a wonderful addition to the literature on Amish and Mennonites. * Thomas J. Meyers, Goshen College, USA * ... does a remarkable job of analyzing Lancaster County's modern dilemma. * Utopian Studies * Garden Spot is a very well written book and fills a vital niche in Amish literature by examining the crisis of encroaching urbanism in rural America. * Utopian Studies * Students of Amish history will find this book a valuable addition to their libraries. * Utopian Studies * As the author effectively demonstrates, Lancaster County provides a useful "window" into America's fascination both with traditional rurality and modern development. * The Journal of American History * Implicit throughout the book are lessons applicable to all localities where imagined, if not actual, rural landscapes appear threatened by urbanization. Chapter by chapter, Walbert carefully relates Lancaster County trends to trends nationwide. Thus the book resonates with nationwide implication. I especially recommend it to readers concerned with urban sprawl in America and its economic and social impact. * The Journal of American History *show more

About David Walbert

David Walbert is a writer and historian living in Durham, North Carolina. He was raised in Lancaster County and received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.show more

Rating details

4 ratings
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2 25% (1)
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