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.
"By synthesizing a phenomenal amount of scholarly work with popular portrayals, he tellingly documents the evolution of US perceptions of rural life."--CHOICE " Garden Spot traces the history of an ambivalent American attitude about rural life. There is grist for both the scholar and the interested layperson a wonderful addition to the literature on the Amish."-- The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography " 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 "A lively and engaging reflection on the battle to save one of America's favorite places and peoples, this superbly crafted text probes the lure of rural life in the hearts of postmodern Americans. Blending historical perspectives with provocative analysis, Walbert explains the selling of Amish images on the culture markets of America and tells America's love-hate story with its rural legacy."--Donald B. Kraybill, author of The Riddle of Amish Culture "By synthesizing a phenomenal amount of scholarly work with popular portrayals, he tellingly documents the evolution of US perceptions of rural life."--CHOICE "Garden Spot provides an incisive and fascinating look at the changing meanings of rurality during the twentieth century. By exploring the different perspectives of Lancaster County businessmen, suburbanites, and exurbanites, as well as the farmers themselves, David Walbert integrates the new rural history and cultural studies to show how our understandings of the countryside have been constructed and reconstructed in a modern and urban society. This fine book opens a new direction in rural studies that others are sure to follow."--Hal S. Barron, Harvey Mudd College and the Claremont Graduate University
|Garden Spot||p. 2|
|Introduction A Fertile Soil||p. 3|
|The Invention of Lancaster County||p. 11|
|Education, Literacy, and the Little Red Schoolhouse||p. 37|
|The Amish and Tourism||p. 67|
|Food and Farming||p. 101|
|Urbanization and Planning||p. 137|
|Development and Farm Preservation||p. 171|
|Epilogue: The Harvest||p. 209|
|Appendix: Farms and Population of Lancaster County, 1900-2000||p. 219|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st July 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.8 x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.39