Selling the Amish

Selling the Amish

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More than 19 million tourists flock to Amish Country each year, drawn by the opportunity to glimpse qa better timeq and the quaint beauty of picturesque farmland and handcrafted quilts. What they may find, however, are elaborately themed town centers, outlet malls, or even a water park. Susan L. Trollinger explores this puzzling incongruity, showing that Amish tourism is anything but plain and simple. Selling the Amish takes readers on a virtual tour of three such tourist destinations in Ohioa€™s Amish Country, the worlda€™s largest Amish settlement. Trollinger examines the visual rhetoric of these uniquely themed placesa€”their architecture, interior decor, even their merchandise and souvenirsa€”and explains how these features create a setting and a story that brings tourists back year after year. This compelling story is, Trollinger argues, in part legitimized by the Amish themselves. To Americans faced with anxieties about modern life, being near the Amish way of life is comforting. The Amish seem to have escaped the rush of contemporary life, the confusion of gender relations, and the loss of ethnic heritage. While the Amish way supports the idealized experience of these tourist destinations, it also raises powerful questions. Tourists may want a life uncomplicated by technology, but would they be willing to drive around in horse-drawn buggies in order to achieve it? Trollinger's answers to important questions in her fascinating study of Amish Country tourism are sure to challenge readersa€™ understanding of this surprising cultural phenomenon.This contrast is most stark when one compares it to Old Order Amish houses. ... These houses have moderately pitched roofs and are usually clad with wood siding that is painted white.13 Interiors of Old ... filled with lace table runners, porcelain figurines, and Thomas Kinkade prints, Amish homes contain almost nothing thatanbsp;...

Title:Selling the Amish
Author: Susan L. Trollinger
Publisher:JHU Press - 2012-02-21

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