Of a Place and a Time: Remembering Lancaster

Richard Daniel Altick, Author Archon Books $27.5 (199p) ISBN 978-0-208-02321-6
During the years between WW I and WW II, Altick ( The Scholar Adventurers ), professor emeritus at Ohio State University, lived in Lancaster, Pa. The city's population, then estimated at 60,000, consisted of paradoxical communities: the citified and the farm-oriented, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch, or Amish, people. Altick fills his reminiscence with impressions of Lancaster's colonial heritage, recollections of his enchantment with such neighborhood businesses as the gas station, comments on the pretzel and other local specialties. Although in his youth not altogether mindful of the ``kerosene-lit Amish farmhouses a few miles down the Old Philadelphia Pike,'' he nonetheless describes how the city faded when a postwar tourist influx brought affluence and a booming, exploitive trade in Amish handicrafts. This intimate memoir, nostalgic and infused with regional charm, captures a vanished American experience. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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